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Gov employees could face compulsory drug testing

Gov employees could face compulsory drug testing

Tuesday 30 April 2024

Gov employees could face compulsory drug testing

Tuesday 30 April 2024


Drug testing for civil servants is being considered after it emerged that 6% of the island's working population holds a prescription of medicinal cannabis.

The Chief Minister yesterday confirmed that drug testing is being considered as part of a broader update of the Substance Misuse Policy, which applies to all public workers.

Deputy Lyndon Farnham said that the testing could be compulsory or voluntary "depending on a person’s role and their capability".

He was answering a written question from Deputy Karen Wilson, which asked what consideration is being given to compulsory drug testing for certain professions such as doctors, teachers, police officers, ambulance drivers and heavy goods drivers.

Deputy Lyndon Farnham added: "The specifics of the policy and its application in different sectors with respect to medicinal cannabis in particular is being developed with input from unions, staff groups and Occupational Health."

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Pictured: A recent audit revealed that some patients had been receiving medicinal cannabis prescriptions from two or more prescribers in the same month.

It comes after the results of an audit of the number of medicinal cannabis prescriptions dispensed in Jersey were published, revealing a "significant" difference in prescribing levels between Jersey and England – with 6%of the island's working population holding a prescription of medicinal cannabis, compared to just 0.05% in England.

It also emerged that some patients had been receiving prescriptions from two or more prescribers in the same month for amounts that "could reasonably be assumed to be for more than one month's supply".

The results of the audit sparked alarm in government, with Ministers with political responsibility for medicinal cannabis immediately announcing plans to take action.

Earlier this month, Environment Minister Steve Luce, who is responsible for regulation, said work to develop legislation to regulate and inspect cannabis clinics had commenced.

However, he confirmed the new policy is not expected to be ready for debate in the States Assembly until 2026.

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Pictured: Environment Minister Steve Luce is responsible for the regulation of medicinal cannabis.

Deputy Luce explained that the development of the legislation will not begin until after the project to regulate hospital and ambulance services has concluded by the end of 2024.

He said: "On this basis, it is intended to develop legislation throughout 2025 with a view to bringing the necessary amendments to the States Assembly for debate in early 2026."

However, Deputy Luce noted that "the project is at an early stage and so this timetable may change".

READ MORE...

Work underway to develop laws for cannabis clinic regulation

IN NUMBERS: Jersey's medicinal cannabis usage

Medicinal cannabis clampdown looms after Jersey audit sparks "significant concern"

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