Aslan Shand, acting editor
As a parent it is hard at times not to fall into the trap of authoritarianism. It always seems like a simpler, clearer way forward – I’m the boss and I want you to do what I tell you for your own good. You’ve got to the count of three – I know best!
That is where papa ScoMo is going wrong. Rather than looking at the evidence of whether or not drug-testing recipients of welfare such as Newstart and the youth allowance will actually help people, he is sitting on his moral high horse and dictating his wishes based on his personal and religious beliefs.
According to the ABC and RMIT fact sheet that has tested the theory of ScoMo and Social Services Minister Christian Porter that drug testing will help recipients get off drugs it is ‘wishful thinking’
‘Of six reports put forward by Mr Porter’s office in defence of his claim, only two specifically relate to drug testing of welfare recipients and both strongly reject it as a viable strategy,’ says the ABC report.
‘The other four relate to the drug treatment of offenders in the criminal justice system.
‘Experts say that, rather than lots of evidence, there is no evidence, here or overseas, to show that mandatory testing will help unemployed drug addicts receive treatment and find jobs.’
This is just another dangerous arm of the Pentecostal, puritanical war on drugs that has led to the deaths of millions, funded the sex slave and illegal arms trade, and destroyed communities worldwide.
Rather than being subject to the religious and moral whims of government ministers, the approach to drugs and drug policy should take into account the reality of drug use, behaviour, and outcomes. Not only do many people like to take drugs for fun and relaxation – and happily hold down jobs, have families and are vital members of their communities (see Friday night beers) – but people who have drug and alcohol problems need treatment and help.
Drug addiction is a health issue and should be treated as part of the health portfolio and funded to give real and demonstrably effective treatment and interventions.
Continuing the war on drugs by singling out the most needy and vulnerable people in our society is a surefire way to further marginalise people, stop them receiving benefits, and drive them into further crime.
If you need further clarification on the failure of the war on drugs check out Why The War on Drugs is a Huge Failure by YouTube site Kurzgesagt www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJUXLqNHCaI. It is a simple explanation – and as it takes into account free-market economics one hopes even our fair prime minster ScoMo could potentially understand it!