In Chile, 75 members of Congress were subjected to a drug test with the aim of “detecting possible parliamentary links with drug trafficking”.
This curious measure comes after the approval, on July 13, of a bill regulating the control of the consumption of drugs and narcotics by sitting deputies.
A coin toss determined which lawmakers had to submit to a hair drug test that was to detect the presence of THC, cocaine, benzodiazepines, amphetamines, methamphetamines and opiates.
Members of Congress who use drugs for medical purposes obviously had the option of declaring it beforehand.
According El Paísthe members of the Frente Ampliothe party to which progressive President Gabriel Boric belongs, admitted that they were “between a rock and a hard place, because a rejection of the bill could have been interpreted as an anti-transparency position”.
Among the deputies in favor, Juan Antonio Coloma, of the conservative Independent Democratic Union (UDI) party, said: “If there are parliamentarians who use drugs, it is because they buy them, and they buy, they can be extorted by those who supply them”.
Across the aisle is lawmaker Jaime Sáez of the Frente Amplio Democratic Revolution party. Sáez is one of the officials who was drawn and has already declared that he uses recreational cannabis under medical supervision.
“I hope that after this media show, there will be a thorough debate that will allow us to regulate the consumption of cannabis in Chile. About five million Chileans use cannabis. We are neither drug addicts, nor mentally ill, nor criminals,” he said.
According The Terceraan official document says that of the 75 MPs who had to take the mandatory test, all tested negative.
“None of them showed any violation of the rules of the regulation which prohibits the abuse of narcotic or psychotropic substances or drugs”, he specified.
However, three deputies did not appear for the test: Marisela Santibáñez (PC), Clara Sagardía (IND-Frente Amplio) and Jorge Durán (RN).
While Santibáñez and Sagardía filed for protection against the drug testing settlement (along with three other deputies), Durán was out of the country.
Consequently, all three will have to appear before the Ethics Committee of the Assembly.
For their part, the parliamentarians who filed the application for protection claim that this new regulation “violates their fundamental rights, such as the physical and psychological integrity of people or the respect and protection of privacy”.
Testing of the remaining 77 MPs is expected to take place in the coming weeks.