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NO FORCED DRUG TESTS

The Liberals want to punish people who are struggling to find a job by forcing them to take a drug test before they are given a cent of income support.

This policy is so cruel it seems made up. But unfortunately it is dangerously real and all Australians should be horrified by the precedent it sets.

When will the government learn: drug use is a health issue, not a criminal one. If people are struggling with drug addiction they need to be able to access services and counselling, not marginalised and thrown into poverty.

With your help, we will defeat this terrible policy and move the conversation about drug use towards minimising harm and saving lives.

SIGN UP

This mean-spirited policy will further marginalise already vulnerable people. Will you join us in shutting it down?

NO FORCED DRUG TESTS

The Liberals want to punish people who are struggling to find a job by forcing them to take a drug test before they are given a cent of income support.

This policy is so cruel it seems made up. But unfortunately it is dangerously real and all Australians should be horrified by the precedent it sets.

When will the government learn: drug use is a health issue, not a criminal one. If people are struggling with drug addiction they need to be able to access services and counselling, not marginalised and thrown into poverty.

With your help, we will defeat this terrible policy and move the conversation about drug use towards minimising harm and saving lives.

SIGN UP

This mean-spirited policy will further marginalise already vulnerable people. Will you join us in shutting it down?

A POLICY SO BAD ONLY THE LIBS COULD HAVE DREAMT IT UP.

 

Here’s what we know about the government’s cruel policy.

WAR, WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?

The government plans to test 5000 people on Newstart and Youth Allowance for ecstasy, marijuana and methamphetamines. You’ll be hair, saliva or urine tested and, if you test positive, you’ll be forced onto the Cashless Welfare Card.

For over half a century, the old parties’ “war on drug users” has criminalised a health issue and only succeeded in making things worse.

A TERRIFYING PRECEDENT

 

This policy is an unprecedented violation of our civil liberties and it sets a really dangerous precedent. You also have to ask, what’s next? Will pensioners be forced to take drug tests? What about people who see their GP, or university students? These are all government services, just like income support.

Mandatory drug testing is an idea that will hurt people, and we will fight it every step of the way.

 

TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT

As if forced drug tests weren’t bad enough on their own, if you test positive you’ll be thrown onto the Cashless Welfare Card program, where 80% of your income is placed on a “cashless card” and only 20% can be withdrawn as cash. It’s meant to discourage people from alcohol, drugs and gambling, but it simply doesn’t work.

Almost half the participants in the trials so far have said it made their life worse, which means all that’s left is a patronising and paternalistic attempt to manage the lives of people living below or near the poverty line.

 

THIS PLAN HAS ALREADY FAILED

A similar policy was recently introduced in New Zealand and, to nobody’s surprise, it has been a dismal failure.

Of the 18,000 tests completed last year, only 54 people had their government support quarantined. Another similar program rolled out in the United States was also an expensive failure.

These programs have only succeeded in further stigmatising drug users and turning them away from seeking help. Shame on the government for introducing such a colossal failure of public policy.

 

If five decades of “war on drugs” failure have demonstrated anything, it’s that we cannot arrest our way out of this issue. After generations of stigmatisation and underground use, we need a new approach.

Our drug reform policy calls for the need to change our dysfunctional law and order approach and move towards the successful harm minimisation models of overseas countries like Portugal and Uruguay.

The current approach to reducing the harm that illicit drugs cause in our community is not working. And right now, many of the things we are doing to address this issue are making it worse rather than better.

The Greens recognise that when we treat personal drug use as a criminal issue, we use vital resources to punish the individual rather than focusing on illicit drug manufacturers and distributors who are the real criminals. We are also distracted from the opportunities to reduce drug users’ exposure to harm and often, avoidable deaths.

The Greens will restore Australia’s reputation as a leader on innovative drug policy through the establishment of a Harm Reduction Innovation Fund.

By investing in harm reduction, we create better health outcomes for drug users and for our communities as a whole.