Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Drug users deserve jobs too

25 October 2005

Drug users deserve jobs too

A New Zealand advocate for sensible drug policy today said it was ridiculous to deny people employment on the basis of whether they had used recreational substances on the weekend.

Matt Bowden of Stargate International said people who posed a risk to themselves or others in the workplace should not be hired, but impairment was the issue, not previous drug use.

“It’s getting out of hand when 50 per cent of job applicants test positive for previous drug use and are denied employment, when they may be responsible and reliable members of society who are posing no risk to anybody.

“They might even be celebrities, sports heroes, news readers, politicians and role models for our children,” he said.

Mr Bowden said it was time for an evidence-based approach to work-place drug testing which was based on actual risk, rather than stereotypes.

“Many kiwis like to work hard and party hard. Sometimes we use alcohol, sometimes we use other substances. Practically every society of humans has done this since the beginning of time.

“The issue for employers must be on whether or not the employee is impaired from doing their job while they are on duty. If there is no evidence of impairment then is it really an employer’s business what the employees do in their spare time?”

Mr Bowden said with traces of cannabis existing in the body for up to three months there is often an enormous gap between the presence of drugs and evidence of impairment.

He said employers need to think very carefully about where drug testing could take them.

“More than half of adult New Zealanders have used cannabis at some time or another. That’s half of all adult New Zealanders who could potentially fail a drug test and be denied employment, despite posing no risk to anyone.

”Drug use is common across every sector of society. It is normal.”

Mr Bowden said recreational substance use today was much like homosexuality 20 years ago in terms of stigma.

“When these numbers of people are involved, even if we don’t approve of the morality, we’re compromising basic tenets of equality by discriminating against users of one particular substance over another – in many cases, for no good reason,” he said.

“Employers should concentrate on testing the ability of an employee to carry out their job safely rather than focusing on the remains of the weekend in their systems.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Mayor of Auckland: Alert Level Change Welcome News

Mayor Phil Goff says the government’s decision to move Auckland to Level 2 from 6am on Sunday will be welcome news for all Aucklanders.
“Moving strongly and quickly to contain this outbreak has once again proved effective in stopping the spread of community transmission and I thank all the Aucklanders who have followed the rules of Level 3 over the past week,” he says... More>>


 


Earthquakes: Tsunami Activity – Cancelled

The National Advisory issued at 2:48pm following this morning's earthquakes near the KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION is cancelled.
The advice from GNS Science, based on ocean observations, is that the Beach and Marine threat has now passed for all areas... More>>

Joint Press Release: Dirty PR Exposed In Whale Oil Defamation Trial

Three public health advocates are relieved that their long-standing Whale Oil defamation trial against Cameron Slater, Carrick Graham, Katherine Rich and the Food and Grocery Council has finally concluded and they are pleased that the truth has come out... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Next Stage Of COVID-19 Support For Business And Workers

The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Balanced Economic Approach Reflected In Crown Accounts

New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected.
The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU)... More>>


Covid-19: Auckland Back To Alert Level Three After One New Community Case Revealed

Auckland will move to alert level three for a week at 6am tomorrow morning after two new Covid-19 community cases announced this evening could not be directly linked to earlier cases, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The rest of the country will move to level two.... More>>

NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels