16th Jan 2018

The Federal Government to target welfare recipients over drug use

The Federal Government to target welfare recipients over drug use
Drew Patchell

Despite the Senate blocking the plan last year, the Federal Government still intends to introduce drug testing of welfare recipients in Logan, south of Brisbane.

While the Government removed the drug-testing component from its Welfare Reform Bill in December, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull intends introducing fresh legislation to put to crossbench senators.

“We will not give up on trying new things to break cycles of welfare dependency and continue our success in moving people from welfare to work,” said Mr Turnbull.

The testing plan initially involves 2500 Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients over a two-year period. Those who fail their drug tests would lose control of their welfare payments.



Those who test positive to ice, marijuana or ecstasy will be retested in a month and have 80 per cent of their welfare quarantined. If follow-up tests are then refused, welfare payments will be suspended.

What do you think? Is it right to suspend welfare payments for those with a drug habit? Are you for or against this trial?

Related articles:
Could pensioners be drug tested?
Tudge: welfare dependency “poison”
Centrelink ‘still’ threatening clients





COMMENTS

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Ayin
16th Jan 2018
10:18am
Much easier to catch the welfare recipient than the Druglords, lazy Government at work.
CoogeeGuy
16th Jan 2018
10:35am
The government is attacking from all angles. However, unlike these organised crime gangs, the government has limited resources. The gangs have , and can afford to attain as many resources they need to carrying on their business of destroying lives, including the hiring of top barristers to get them off criminal charges. My argument is, if we stupid Australians stopped using these destructive drugs, then we would not be supporting drug lords who live in mansions, and drive around in expensive cars
Knows-a-lot
16th Jan 2018
10:58am
Absolutely right, Ayin. Authorities need to establish the reasons why people crave drugs in the first place. I suspect it's because poor people - welfare recipients - have such wretched lives that they seek escape from reality in the fog of drugs.
jackie
16th Jan 2018
12:11pm
Why not legalise drugs and crack down on those job network providers that are supposed to be helping drug addicts get jobs? I had dinner in North Richmond last night, the place has be a blatant drug den of iniquity that has been existing like that for over three decades and someone must be thriving from those drugs.
Knows-a-lot
17th Jan 2018
5:18pm
jackie, legalizing drugs alas encourages their consumption, which is highly adverse to good health outcomes. Were they to be taxed very heavily (to boost the health budget), that would simply force them underground. But so does their illegality/criminality. So the only solutions are education and removing the reasons why people take them in the first place.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
8:16pm
Precisely, Knows-a-lot. Depriving people of welfare support won't fix addicts. We need to address the causes of addiction, and expand treatment programs.
Travellersjoy
16th Jan 2018
10:21am
Call me when they do alcohol and cocaine testing in board rooms.

Then I'll take this seriously as a health measure.

In the meantime it is just LNP big daddy arrogance, while they accuse humane governments of being nanny states.

If ever there was a nanny state government it is the LNP and their sick relationships with Indigenous Australians, and other poor and disadvantaged people. Nanny Dutton has to be one of the more egregious offenders against Australians and also truth telling.
dick
16th Jan 2018
8:22pm
So it is ok for Welfare money provided by taxpayers to be spent on drugs !!!>?. As a PAYE taxpayer that is not OK with me...
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
7:17am
You'd rather mentally ill people be forced to turn to crime, Dick? As a PAYE tax payer, I'd rather fund sustenance for sick people than handouts to greedy crooks.
dick
17th Jan 2018
2:40pm
Rainey we are talking about illicit and illegal drugs being purchased with Welfare (taxpayers) money. Mentally ill people on welfare can get medical assistance with prescribed anti-depressants for $6 .. much cheaper than illicit drugs and reliable. It is well documented that Illicit drugs are known to make mental illness worse.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
3:43pm
You really have no idea, do you Dick? Yes, we are talking about illegal drugs - drugs that these people have become ADDICTED TO. Anti-depressants DO NOT substitute for powerful addictive drugs (though they can drive addiction and craving for something stronger).

Of course illicit drugs make mental illness worse. But addicts aren't rational, and deprivation won't make them rational. Nor will deprivation enable them to resist the powerful urgings that addicts suffer or the hideous withdrawal pain if they can't get what they need. They need specialist treatment. And it's not easy to get them to accept it, sadly. The very WORST thing we can do is to bully and deprive them. That is absolutely GUARANTEED to make their problems worse - and society's problems also.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
4:03pm
Just BTW, Dick. Many decades ago, I was taking prescription drugs for depression. I realized I was becoming addicted and that the doctors were prescribing progressively stronger and stronger doses, thus feeding a developing addiction. I stopped taking the drugs and embarked on a self-help program that didn't involve medical treatment, but rather focused on controlling thought. That worked, thankfully. Many years later, I read that the drug I was given was recognized as highly addictive and had, in many cases, led to addiction to illegal substances as patients found the relief from the prescribed drug inadequate. Others combined the drug with alcohol when stronger and stronger doses ceased to give relief, resulting in several deaths.

Almost every prescribed drug has side-effects - many dangerous and many not really known or understood. But it's okay for people to take them because doctors and Big Pharma must make their profits. Just don't let anyone profit or get relief in any manner that the social engineers deem unacceptable.

Personally, I'd rather treat the addiction responsibly, but that might cost greedy taxpayers a few dollars and it wouldn't appease the holier-than-though social police who presume to govern everyone else's lifestyle choices. So let's instead, waste millions denying the disadvantaged self-respect and bullying and depriving those with problems until they hopefully do themselves in and save a miserable few dollars in unemployment or disability benefits. Well, I guess it's easier than dealing constructively and compassionaately with the causes of mental illness and addiction.
Knows-a-lot
17th Jan 2018
5:27pm
What drives addiction? It seems to be in some people hardwired into them (innately, and/or by the drugs they take). Solutions:

1. Target the reasons why people crave drugs;
2. Dish out extremely heavy punishment to the illicit drug manufacturers and suppliers.
musicveg
17th Jan 2018
7:32pm
When my brother was addicted to illegal drugs he sought medical help and they got him addicted to pharmaceuticals which eventually killed him at 58. So I agree that anti-depressants and any other pills are not the solution. There is evidence that many drug addicts are malnourished and lacking in nutrients that feed their brain, also lack of dopamine so they seek to self-medicate with illegal drugs, I know my brother did as he was in a lot of pain after an injury.
CoogeeGuy
16th Jan 2018
10:26am
I totally agree with the drug testing. But of course the Government needs to follow through and provide the necessary support, over a ‘reasonable time’ to get these people ‘clean’ from drugs. Those who do not want to stop, will not! And these are normally the category who refuse to work. Therefore welfare payments should stop until these people see reason. It is clear we, the Australian public cannot continue to spend the amount on Welfare as we have over the decades. The only welfare we should be paying is the Aged Pension , along with those who are severely disabled and cannot work. Good on the Turnbull Government for finally getting some balls and trying to get this country back on track.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Jan 2018
2:34pm
CoogeeGuy, you were making some sense until you declared INCORRECTLY that we can't continue to spend the amount on Welfare as we have over decades, and that the only welfare should be the aged pension along with those who are severely disabled.

Firstly, we CAN continue paying the welfare we are paying because it's no more - as a percentage of average income - than it was in past generations, and it's MUCH LESS than most developed nations pay. It's NOT excessive (despite the Government's lies - and notwithstanding that reduction is probably very achievable and therefore desirable as long as it is done correctly).

Secondly, in addition to the aged and the severely disabled, there are vast numbers of people who GENUINELY can't work - the sick; those with disabilities that may not be classified as ''severe'' in a random assessment, but combined with other factors DO make them genuinely unable to work; those who genuinely want work and can't secure stable employment; and those who can't - despite their best efforts - earn enough to support themselves and their dependants. What about orphans and state wards? What about carers? What about those who are widowed after decades of devoting themselves to caring for someone and are left with no work experience or skills - or who are widowed so shortly before retirement age that it's absurd to expect them to return to the workforce.

Thirdly, drug addiction is an illness. It's a mental illness, and mental illness often results from inhumane treatment or social injustice. If we are not careful how we deal with the disadvantaged, we will drive far more to addiction. The Turnbull Government isn't getting the country back on track. It's persecuting the less fortunate, and that's going to have adverse consequences, in the long term, for all of us. We need to support the disadvantaged in a manner to reduces the temptation to resort to substance abuse before we start bullying those who succumb.
Knows-a-lot
17th Jan 2018
5:28pm
Making the rich and corporations pay their fair share of tax would guarantee that moneys to deal with welfare and the drug problem would be available.
Grazza
16th Jan 2018
10:38am
Really good idea, should have been introduced years ago!
Cowboy Jim
16th Jan 2018
11:25am
Cannot see anything wrong with it as we had alcohol testing at my
work place more than 30 years ago; only for problem people coming
in from the 'early opener' near the rail station.
VeryCaringBigBear
16th Jan 2018
2:05pm
I agree welfare money should not be used for drugs and that's why that welfare card is an excellent idea. Yes I would gladly accept one as it would make no difference to me at all.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Jan 2018
2:38pm
Repeating yourself, OG. Why the name change? Oh, that's right. So you could tell a different set of untruths. OG didn't own a home and wasn't on a pension.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Jan 2018
3:03pm
Let's take money from the mentally ill and drive more addiction, more crime, more family breakdowns, more abuse.... Yep! Great idea!

I'd love to find a solution, but simplistic band-aids DO NOT fix anything. Try it, and wait for the disaster to follow.

I have no problem with testing, but if people are denied welfare or stripped of their self-respect and freedom to choose how to live, they will become even more mentally ill and/or resort to far worse anti-social behaviour. We need to find KIND AND RESPECTFUL ways to direct their choices in the right direction. You cannot do that by bullying and punishing.
dick
17th Jan 2018
2:53pm
Rainey you have no idea in stating "lets take money from the mentally ill and drive more addiction, more crime".. what do you think the scumbag drug dealers are doing.
Patriot
17th Jan 2018
4:14pm
Legalising Pot (for personal use) - as in Uruquay - "Short Circuits" the drug dealers and allows certain controls to be implemented gently rather than forced via "Bullying Tactics".
Pot than becomes more like grog and could "Lay the Golden Eggs" for the Government.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
4:57pm
Dick, you have no idea, do you? Of course the drug dealers are takin money from the mentally ill - IN RETURN FOR A FIX. The proposal you are endorsing takes food and shelter and gives NOTHING back. It just persecutes. I don't like drug dealers making profit. I wish they could be stopped. But you won't stop them by starving addicts and condemning them to homelessness and desperation.
Knows-a-lot
17th Jan 2018
5:30pm
Patriot - Legalizing pot encourages its consumption to some extent: that leads to lung cancer (if smoked) and to a rise in schizophrenia.
Patriot
17th Jan 2018
7:24pm
When pot was legalised in Uruquay the president did not draw a salary, he was a simple man with a simple lifestyle & Farm and had the interest of his people "at Heart".
He did not have money hidden away in taxhavens, or refused to protect multimillion corporations and their fatcats and was interest in the progress of people's health rather than the welfate of BigPharma.
I believe, he basically has mechanisms in place to UN-drug the people gradually rather than ensure the Drug Cartels were getting filthy rich from crime.
Just a shame he could not rune a second term of RULE the Criminal clowns we have in Canberra.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BwVxmJPies
HDRider
16th Jan 2018
11:34am
What the hell is wrong with drug testing welfare recipients? If the workers who pay their tax to pay for welfare get tested then i don't see a problem.
The problem I see is the people sitting in parliament appear to be above all these rules, they should most certainly be drug and alcohol tested on a random basis also.
AutumnOz
16th Jan 2018
1:49pm
Perhaps the pollies should all be drug tested (for alcohol) after their lunch in the dining room(s) :-)
Knows-a-lot
17th Jan 2018
5:31pm
HDR, Why target welfare recipients? Randomly test all sectors of society.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
8:20pm
I agree with that, Knows-a-lot. But it seems some get a kick out of bullying the disadvantaged.
Not a Bludger
16th Jan 2018
11:58am
Sooner the better - my hard earned should not be paying for these layabouts’ “recreational” drugs.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Jan 2018
3:38pm
Hope you are the first to be robbed by a deprived addict, then see how well your ''hard earned'' is protected.

You don't fix addiction by punitive measures or deprivation, Not a Bludger. These do-gooder thought bubbles will cause far more problems than they solve.
dick
17th Jan 2018
2:43pm
Rainey your comments suggest you support drug use by Welfare recipients. Only ones who would condone that are welfare recipients on drugs !!!
Knows-a-lot
17th Jan 2018
5:33pm
"Hope you are the first to be robbed by a deprived addict"

It is EVIL to wish misfortune on anybody. This reveals a deep flaw in your personality.
Pancake
16th Jan 2018
12:06pm
Hell yeah but should also include support for those that test positive and help them get off the drugs. You can't open up these legalised drug rooms then take the welfare payments off those who use them.
AutumnOz
16th Jan 2018
1:50pm
Agreed.
KSS
16th Jan 2018
2:16pm
Except they are not losing the welfare Pancake. 80% will be quarantined which means they will still receive the full welfare they always have, except they will not be able to buy drugs with more than 20% of it. This is the same type of scheme that has already been trialled and been successful in communities with an alcohol and violence problem.

They only risk losing the welfare if they consistently test positive for illegal drugs. They should be grateful they will not be prosecuted for illegal substance abuse at the same time!
Patriot
16th Jan 2018
2:29pm
KSS
No welfare would certainly turn them into Criminals as the jobs have been exported overseas & they will have to "Feed * Clothe" themselves.
As someone else said elsewhere - rehabilitation if the key together with ensuring that they have jobs to live a dignified live3 and be able to plan for A future.
On the other hand those who are making these rules obviously do not see anything wrong with getting MAGOTTED whilst we pay them.
I disagree with BOTH: Drug Use & Hypocracy!
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
7:31am
Read again, KSS. They are losing the welfare if the test positive a second time. And the first time they are losing their self-respect, their freedom, and their access to desperately needed relief from illness. Go on, prosecute them. Kill them all. That's what will happen, and many will be pleased at that outcome. Personally, I'd rather deprive the frauds and cheats who refuse to pay tax or give their wealth away to immorally access pension benefits they have no proper entitlement to. They are costing the nation a lot more.
dick
17th Jan 2018
2:57pm
Rainey there are plenty of frauds and cheats on welfare using govt provided money to buy drugs and making no effort to find work. Many industries drug test their staff. How can you get a job if you are a drug user.
AND you are wrong again... look on line at the proposed legislation. 80% of funds would be quarantined through the use of a Welfare Card. KSS is right and you are wrong again.
Patriot
17th Jan 2018
4:10pm
Finding jobs becomes a lot harder when they are exported to 3rd world countries at a great rate and Australia still keeps immigration levels at 1/4 million per year.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
5:08pm
I am not wrong, Dick. ''If follow-up tests are then refused, welfare payments will be suspended.'' And regardless, quarantining 80% of benefits simply means that addicts will find it much more difficult to get a fix honestly and will have to resort to more desperate measures. Well done!

Yes, many industries drug test staff, and addicts don't get jobs. So let's provide proper treatment for addicts, and take action to prevent addiction by addressing the massive social ills that are driving increased mental illness and substance abuse. As musicveg points out, the cost of testing will run to millions and only a handful of welfare recipients take drugs, so most of the investment will be totally wasted, and to the extent that it detects a user, it won't do anything constructive for them because we already have long queues wanting treatment and not getting it. In addition to wasting millions, we will be denigrating welfare recipients, which, combined with current social attitudes and government slander will create more mental health problems.

BTW. I don't know why we would worry about addicts not getting jobs when there aren't nearly enough for all the healthy people who want them desperately, and as was pointed out on another post, many who try to work find they are much worse off than not working due to our ridiculously punitive and suppressive welfare system, so there's really not much point in many cases.

Let's fix the easy problems first, and the ones where a fix BENEFITS society substantially, rather than wasting money and energy on dumb measures that every expert in addiction is advising will NEVER WORK.
Knows-a-lot
17th Jan 2018
5:20pm
Address the cause of drug-taking, and dry up the demand. That alone will solve the problem.
Patriot
16th Jan 2018
12:27pm
And - I suppose - they'll next make me believe that Tony Abbott was NOT PAID for missing the afternoon parliament session when he got "Magotted" over a lunch with to much of the good liquid!
That is a "Recorded" event - how many times does if happen that we pay the crooks in our parliament when the are drunk or simply refuse to attend a session. Should they be docked pay then???
Old Man
16th Jan 2018
12:41pm
Oh well done Patriot. To segue from welfare drug testing to having a pop at a backbencher takes some skill.
Patriot
16th Jan 2018
12:48pm
OM
Not condoning drugs - BUT - there MUST be a "level playing field" as THEY are telling us when is suits them!!!
Whilst you think there is a difference of "Day & Night" IF this issue is really about performance, I think that there is no problem with the comparison!
Kato
16th Jan 2018
7:54pm
Patriot is right Politicians should be drug and alcohol tested every day before they enter parliament . They are making decisions in the National Interest and no Alcohol or drugs be permitted. As they are oft telling the populace nothing to hide nothing to fear.
dick
16th Jan 2018
8:26pm
And the significant amount of tax paid by Tony Abbot and other taxpayers like me is ok to be spent on illegal drugs ??!!
Patriot
16th Jan 2018
9:11pm
ONE rule for ALL
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
7:49am
Dick, you'd rather it be spent supporting big pharma's unconscionable profits, politician's greed, tax avoidance by multi-national corporations, obscene handouts to mining companies to destroy our natural heritage...?

If it were about saving money - which it clearly is NOT - there are far better targets. If it's about helping people, which it PURPORTS to be, then deprivation will make their problems worse. They might turn to crime, family violence (bashing a spouse to get a few more dollars that the spouse wanted to use to buy food for the kids... or they might just resort to suicide. But that would no doubt please the social engineers.

Drug addicts are sick, and sick people are entitled to welfare. What difference does it make what they spend it on? Others waste it in other ways. It doesn't affect YOU. But an increase in crime by desperate people well might. Sick people need appropriate treatment. Deprivation is NOT appropriate treatment. It's been proven not to work.
dick
17th Jan 2018
2:50pm
Rainey illicit drugs are not a treatment.. if you were better informed you would know that they make mental illness worse.. THe medical profession provides the best outcome for the mentally ill not drug dealers looking to make money from others suffering.
Your first paragraph about company profits has nothing to do with illicit drugs.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
4:22pm
Dick, the addicts CAN'T GET TREATMENT. That's a big part of the problem. And now you want to punish them for suffering as a result of being denied the treatment they need. As for the medical profession providing the ''best outcome'' - BS. Sorry. I've been there. The medical profession and BigPharma with their prescription drugs cause horrendous problems - often leading to addiction.

I would love to stop drug dealers making money. Several people I loved died from illicit drugs. In every case, it was because they were DENIED a fix they needed. One actually sought treatment and got off drugs, but got back on them when the police refused to act in response to information he provided about dealers. He got back on them out of frustration and desperation and he O/D'd out of fear.

Before we presume to dictate how welfare recipients spend their pathetic little incomes, let's worry about fixing some of the social problems that lead to mental illness and addiction and ensuring ALL who want treatment for addiction can access it.

And yes, company profits have everything to do with the issue, because the justification for this absurd proposal is that we need to save taxpayers money. It's nothing to do with helping anyone. If it were, they would be funding treatment and prevention programs instead of bullying people who have already succumbed.
the old bag
16th Jan 2018
12:36pm
good idea if your not on drugs where is the worry. I say go for it the only ones that complain are the ones on drugs
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Jan 2018
2:53pm
I know a lot who are complaining because it will drive up crime and we are all at risk of desperate drug addicts who are denied sustenance breaking into our homes or robbing us in the street.

I don't disagree with testing, but I DO disagree with depriving people of basic financial support - ESPECIALLY the mentally ill (which includes addicts). They need treatment, not punishment.
KSS
16th Jan 2018
7:19pm
That is what 'they' said when the trail program in heavy alcohol and violent communities was scheduled. It did not eventuate, drinking when down, families were happier, violence, both street and home based, reduced, many actually got work or into training. The main 'complaint' came from a mother (echoed by a few others) who said she was pi**ed off that she couldn't give money to her kids! Well if that was the worst complaint, what's the problem. No one lost welfare, 80% was quarantined for the life essentials like food, bills, clothing etc so only20% was available to drink away. The same proposition is being levelled at drug users. And so it should!
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
7:56am
You poor soul. You actually believe the political propaganda? The government needed to support continuation of a program that was profiting its mates, so it rigged the statistics - which are easy to rig - to pretend the result was the benefit the program purported to be seeking.

There has NEVER been an addict whose kids got more for necessities because he/she was deprived of a fix. That's total CRAP. Anyone who benefited in any way from a cashless welfare card was NOT living with an addict. Addicts need a fix. If they are deprived of it, they will resort to any desperate measure that might relieve their pain - be it crime, violence, a different substance, or suicide. All three addicts I have known killed themselves. But I suppose you would deem that a good result?
dick
17th Jan 2018
3:04pm
Rainey you really are uninformed. KSS is right . Alcohol and drug abuse and violence reduced substantially in those areas trialled with a welfare card. You really need to be better informed.. how can you say it is political propaganda when the police and and medical services and welfare support staff all reported reduced problem incidents.... they are the ones who assisted supplying the statistics.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
4:09pm
Dick, you are the one who needs to be better informed. Of course the government and its supporters took pains to ensure the propaganda was all positive. And no doubt SOME with poor money management habits benefited from a system that was ALREADY AVAILABLE to them anyway, in a much more compassionate and respectful form. The cashless card was about giving a very profitable contract to politician's buddies - NOTHING ELSE.

Addicts DO NOT change their habits in response to deprivation. That's a known fact. Bullying and deprivation will only make them worse. Intervention can work BEFORE they become addicted, but that would require addressing social injustice that causes mental illness, rather than bullying people who are already addicted.
Knows-a-lot
17th Jan 2018
5:34pm
Naltrexone?
Old Man
16th Jan 2018
12:43pm
I agree with drug testing welfare recipients. A lot of workplaces test for drugs and alcohol including those who apply for work. If a welfare recipient is unable to pass a drug and alcohol test when applying for work, is there a difference between them and a worker sacked for failing a drug and alcohol test?
seadog
16th Jan 2018
12:56pm
I am also in favour of drug testing. These people receive money from the tax payer and as many workplaces drug and alcohol test why should they be exempt. All the do-gooders who complain about it are also a scourge on society because it makes one wonder what they also have to hide. Lets face it if you do not take drugs then what is the problem.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Jan 2018
3:06pm
''Do-gooders'' complain? I think ''do-gooders'' clutch at straws and endorse idiotic measures that will make the problem worse, seadog. Go and learn a bit about addiction and mental illness before you make silly assumptions that punishing addicts will cure them. Punitive measures will drive far worse problems.

I support sensible measures to reduce addiction, but deprivation of welfare is NOT a sensible measure. It will drive more mental illness, crime, abuse, family breakdown, neglected children.... etc.
KSS
16th Jan 2018
7:21pm
Boo hoo! A drug addicted person with mental health issues induced by the very drugs they are taking! And you want the taxpayer to keep enabling that behaviour?
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
7:35am
KSS, you are showing your ignorance, sadly. Drugs are rarely the cause of mental illness. It's the other way around. Mental illness leads to addiction. Healthy people reject drugs. And no, I don't want the taxpayer enabling ANY bad or damaging behaviour, but I know enough about addiction to know that deprivation makes the problem worse. And there are far more expensive problems that could be addressed if it's about saving taxpayer dollars, rather than pretending to save society from its own excesses.
Knows-a-lot
17th Jan 2018
5:37pm
"you are showing your ignorance, sadly. Drugs are rarely the cause of mental illness."

WRONG: in the case of tetrahydrocannibinol (THC - the active ingredient in marijuana), it is a known cause of schizophrenia.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
8:15pm
That may be so, Knows-a-lot, but almost always the person who becomes addicted to marijuana is mentally ill to begin with. The drug may make it worse, but the illness drives the addiction in the first instance.
Knows-a-lot
18th Jan 2018
2:58pm
"but almost always the person who becomes addicted to marijuana is mentally ill to begin with"

Sorry, Rainey, but that's not true either. I know of several dope-heads who started out with good mental health. (I also know a few who didn't.) I'm simply objecting to "almost always". Quite a lot of mentally healthy individuals smoke pot because they like the effect. Also, remember the widespread opium addiction in China? Most of the Chinese were not mentally ill.
OnlyGenuineRainey
18th Jan 2018
8:04pm
I wonder how anybody can tell for sure who is mentally ill and who isn't.
Knows-a-lot
19th Jan 2018
3:18pm
Psychiatrists use a manual - their Bible - known as DSM5. it lists mental illnesses and their symptomologies. Notwithstanding, I take your point: some people who are genuinely mentally ill are adept at hiding their illness, or compensating for it.
Tib
16th Jan 2018
1:03pm
It's just a cost cutting exercise. Significant numbers of our youth are on drugs so the government will use it to stop payments. Sounds like a recipe for more illegal activity for those people with no other means of support. I might think of it of less of a grab for cash if they introduced programs to get our youth off drugs. But that would cost money.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Jan 2018
3:00pm
Well said, Tib. Good to see someone thinking it through instead of applauding ill-conceived ''thought bubbles'' that are full of holes.
musicveg
17th Jan 2018
2:11am
Along with Rainey's comments, this is the best comment here yet. Crime is already rising, we don't want more.
dick
17th Jan 2018
3:07pm
Absolute rubbish. a welfare card will see funds spent on legitimate purposes... you are supporting drug dealers.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
3:38pm
Dream on, Dick! You live in la la land. Obviously know NOTHING about mental illness and addiction. Maybe you should learn a few basic facts before you sprout nonsense. A welfare card will drive people deprived of what their addiction makes them crave to any other available option to satisfy their need - bashing the spouse to get the grocery money; hocking the furniture and kids' clothes; theft (possibly involving assault); break-ins; taking more dangerous substitutes that are more readily available; selling the welfare card... anything will do. And when all else fails, they will kill themselves. But then, you'd probably cheer if that happened, since you seem obsessed with ensuring only those whose conduct you approve of get welfare.
Rae
16th Jan 2018
1:19pm
Someone should tell them the Liberal Party company supplying the welfare cards has gone bust. Or is this a new mob wanting their share of our taxes?
Rae
16th Jan 2018
1:22pm
I don't object to drug tests but it should be a reputable well known company doing the testing not an LNP off shoot or bunch of mates.
AutumnOz
16th Jan 2018
1:43pm
" “We will not give up on trying new things to break cycles of welfare dependency and continue our success in moving people from welfare to work,” said Mr Turnbull. "
I wonder if he ever listens to what he is saying or even thinks before opening his mouth.
If the gov't stopped destroying or sending jobs offshore that would certainly break the cycle of welfare of those Australians benefiting from having a paying job rather than a 'work for the dole' job.
musicveg
17th Jan 2018
2:13am
Yes, where are the jobs he keeps promising, Asia is doing very well.
KB
16th Jan 2018
2:04pm
The majority of work places have drug testing, We need to so something so long as the system is fair. If people are taking illicit drugs and have children then children must be looked after which means ensuring that they are housed and fed properly The govt must not take away payments but ensure that p payments are managed properly. Half of road drivers take drugs so it imperative that the police and govt agencies work together.
Nika
16th Jan 2018
2:45pm
Drug testing and a fail means a welfare card? About time. Then the money will go to the bills, rent and food for the kids instead of drugs.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Jan 2018
2:59pm
You would be an expert psychologist then, Nika?

I don't have experience with drug addicts, but I do have experience with alcoholics and giving them a welfare card usually means they will bash their wives and starve their kids to get their hands on as much cash as they can to satisfy their need. And depriving them of self-respect will worsen the mental illness that drives their addiction.

These simplistic do-gooder thought bubbles are ill-informed nonsense. If it was that easy, the problems would have been solved a long time ago.

From what I know of drug addicts, restricting their access is more likely to drive them to crime than to redirect their income to necessities, and it CERTAINLY won't redirect money to necessities for the kids. I know a grandmother who furnished her drug-addicted daughter's home with basic necessities and bought the kids clothes. The daughter sold everything to buy drugs.

Wake up Australia! Try learning a little about the problem before you applaud a stupidly simplistic measure that is almost guaranteed to fail.

I would love to find a solution. But depriving addicts of welfare support IS NOT IT.
KSS
16th Jan 2018
7:27pm
Rainey you are simply not correct. Go and look up the outcomes related to the welfare card trial sites where drinking was reduced. This had the effect of LESS street and domestic violence, people got jobs or got into training, families were happier, children went to school and women did not live in fear of losing the welfare to the bottle shop. One of the 'complaints' listed was from a mother who whinged she couldn't give her kids money! Well seeing as they were now fed, housed in safety and going to school, I really don't give much credence to that 'complaint'.

As for addicts selling everything for drugs, unfortunately that is the nature of the beast. And it happens whether the person is on welfare or not! It is no reason to maintain the status quo.
roy
16th Jan 2018
9:42pm
KSS, you are so right, Rainey is a go gooder, the kind that are ruining Australia, we are no longer the lucky country.
Get rid of all the do gooders please.
Build more prisons but make them fearsome places not holiday camps.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
7:28am
Yes, KSS, go and look at where the welfare card trial was conducted. I did. I talked to the people rather than swallowing the politically-motivated lies. And I've lived with alcoholics. I've seen several suicides from drug addiction. Addicts DO NOT change their habits in response to being deprived. That's total BS.

No, Roy, it's you who is the do-gooder ruining the country by endorsing simplistic thought-bubbles from fools who know absolutely nothing about the problem they purport to be trying to solve. I just want to see some common sense prevail occasionally.
roy
17th Jan 2018
7:53pm
Build more prisons and make them fearsome places to be in, put me in charge, I'd sort them all out and quickly.
OnlyGenuineRainey
18th Jan 2018
6:59am
Yes, Roy. You would protect privilege. No doubt about that. God help the disadvantaged and victims of injustice.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Jan 2018
3:12pm
Maybe before we jump up and down and clap a simplistic idea, we should ask some questions. Why are there increasing numbers of addicts? What is driving increased addiction? How do addicts respond to punitive measures and deprivation? Would we prefer our tax dollars go to buying drugs for addicts or to hugely increased crime prevention costs, costs of dealing with child neglect and family breakdowns and spousal abuse? Would we like to see an increase in suicides?

We are seeing major increases in mental illness, and mental illness is driven by poverty, social disharmony, severe frustration (often caused by unemployment or unsatisfactory employment), loss of self-respect (caused by being treated as a second-class citizen), and social injustice. We are NOT going to improve anything by persecuting addicts more. We need to tackle the PROBLEM, not the SYMPTOM.
musicveg
17th Jan 2018
2:16am
And another question we should ask, is why isn't the Government putting more money into drug rehabilitation for those who are seeking help already?
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
3:52pm
Good question. Anyone want to answer that, instead of endorsing the persecution of people whose problems they know nothing about and don't even attempt to understand?
Raphael
16th Jan 2018
4:20pm
taxpayer money should not be used to buy drugs, alcohol or cigarettes

as pension is also welfare, I also resent pensioners being given my tax funds to purchase these products
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Jan 2018
5:38pm
Resent it all you like, Raphael. We all do. But I'll bet you'd also resent being beaten over the head and robbed by a desperate druggie who'd been denied his Newstart cheque?

Addressing the cause rather than bashing the mentally ill would be a hell of a lot smarter. Taking their welfare will drive more crime, family breakdown, abuse, child neglect... It will NOT stop addicts craving a fix!
ray from Bondi
16th Jan 2018
5:15pm
I think welfare payments would not support any drug habit, all it will do is increase crime and then the government will whine about how many crims are in jail, but not a word about those who are the victims of crime.
roy
16th Jan 2018
7:24pm
Another day with no comments from MICK!
jackie
16th Jan 2018
8:45pm
The prisons are privatised. They generate money from prisoners. America has more prisoners than China for that reason. More aged people will become victims of crime. That means less aged pensioners and more perks and benefits for our politicians.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Jan 2018
5:35pm
Marijuana? It has now been proved to have major health benefits and is progressively being legalized for medicinal use. Turdball needs to get with the program.
KSS
16th Jan 2018
7:30pm
Medical marijuana is a very different drug to the 'street' drug and should not be confused. And you cannot tell me that we should fund illicit drug taking through welfare payments.

Or would you be prepared to forgo a rise in the pension to keep the addicts in their stock of choice?
musicveg
17th Jan 2018
2:19am
Marijuana should not be in the same class as Ice, Ice causes aggression, Marijuana keeps them calm.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
7:16am
KSS, I would much rather fund a minority of drug addicts on welfare than tolerate the hideous and costly social problems that will result from cutting mentally ill people off welfare. Have you ever had to deal with a drug addict desperately in need of a fix and being punished for their addiction? If it were as simple as all the ''holier than though'' do-gooders think, we'd never have had a problem in the first place. These are not little children who will mend their bad behaviour after being stood in the corner or denied their sweets. They are SICK people. Treat sick people incorrectly and they get much sicker.

Anyway, we pay welfare to people who give all their wealth to their grandchildren so they can qualify for a pension they shouldn't receive. We pay welfare to people who spend it on overseas holidays and playing the poker machines. We pay welfare to people who wasted hundreds of thousands living the high life. What's the difference? Personally, I'd rather pay for a sick person to be kept alive and have a chance of healing than for a wealthy person to manipulate the system to use taxpayer funds to boost his grandchildren's wealth. And I know which classification is costing the nation the most - and it is NOT a minority of drug addicts on welfare.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
7:23am
BTW KSS, I have a friend who, ten years ago, was diagnosed with cancer and given 3 months to live. He spent his welfare cheque on marijuana - not medical, as he had no access to it. His doctor says he's alive today because he took marijuana. He still takes it occasionally, because it makes him feel good. He suffers a lot of pain and it eases it when nothing else can. He's a clean-living, decent, responsible person whose lifestyle hurts nobody, but he is on a disability pension. He costs nobody any more than he'd cost if he didn't touch marijuana. But I suppose we should deprive him of the only pleasure he has in life, and what may potentially be keeping him alive? Or should we force him to use prescription drugs that cost either him or the taxpayer much, much more, have hideous side effects, and don't work as well? Maybe the real goal is to keep big pharma happy, rather than to save people from themselves (whether or not they want to be saved)?
Patriot
17th Jan 2018
7:58am
The human brain has receptor for "Cannabanoids" which contain the active healing properties of the plant. It certainly does not have receptors specifically designed for ANY other plant or vegetable and it is therefore concluded that we - as a species - have co-evolved with cannabis.
Of course, the natural cannabis which was part of this process was much lower in THC (THC has been bred to be more concentrated in today's cannabis).
So yes, cannabis is the (sacred) healing plant that we all should be allowed to use in case of illness.
Then again, "Big Pharma" would loose out on enormous amounts of unadulterated profits IF cannabis was accepted/tolerated as a medicine which could legally be grown for personal use!
Oppose and get rid of the CARTEL FATCATs!!!!!
Get hold of YOUR government and TELL THEM!!!!
MAKE THEM CONFORM TO OUR WILL - FINALLY!!!
musicveg
17th Jan 2018
7:55pm
So true Patriot, Big Pharma is already trying to stop medical marijuana until they can take it over. CBD oil is getting a lot of attention in the USA but there is legislation being discussed to ban it even though it is helping so many people, and children who the medical profession cannot help.
Rosret
16th Jan 2018
6:34pm
Some people are on drugs for legitimate reasons. So will this be yet another paperwork nightmare.
KSS
16th Jan 2018
7:45pm
Not cocaine, ICE or methamphetamines they aren't. Nor actually marijuana. You cannot get high on medical marijuana because there is not enough THC in it.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
3:45pm
And people who NEED to get high, because they are ADDICTS, will NEVER respond to deprivation and punishment. They need compassionate treatment from people who understand addiction, KSS. The only thing that will be achieved by depriving them is higher crime rates and higher suicide rates.
dick
16th Jan 2018
8:20pm
Long overdue... Why should taxpayers money be used to buy drugs. Welfare support isn't provided to purchase illegal drugs. the Greens and Labor should all support this being rolled out Australia wide.
jackie
16th Jan 2018
8:30pm
Dick Do you not object to footing the bill for our politicians’ alcohol and cigarette consumption? I think our Senators should be drug and alcohol tested. Their behaviour in parliament is questionable and so are their decisions.
dick
17th Jan 2018
2:36pm
Jackie a big difference in that the politicians are working for their money and pay tax unlike welfare recipients.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
3:32pm
Well, we got the pensioners. Now let's get the mentally ill, Dick. With luck, they'll all commit suicide once deprived of sustenance. Just pray that if they resort to crime - which many likely will - it won't be your house they will break into.

It's not about what welfare is used for, Dick. It's about whether or not proposed solutions work - and this one WILL NOT. Because addicts NEED their fix, and you won't change their behaviour by punishing them or depriving them. You will simply drive them to look for other methods of getting what they need. These people are mentally ill. They need treatment - not deprivation. What is wrong with people that they think they can just bully everyone into conforming? Maybe it would be smarter to ask WHY we have increasing numbers resorting to drugs. What's wrong with society that is making so many people mentally ill, and how do we fix it so they don't want drugs in the first place?
Patriot
17th Jan 2018
4:06pm
Dick,
If the pollies are enforcing these laws should they not be adhering to them themselves??
Them Working (???) for the money (for US?????) they get paid should not make any difference.
Although they seem to think they're a "Special Breed", they're NOT - JUST "fall in Line" with the rest of
the plebs.

We - as parents - should set examples to our kids and are not exempt to follow the rules we set for them just because we work to provide for them!
Mum gets the kids to take off their shoes when they enter the house - so should we!
What a confused mess it would be otherwise!?!?
jackie
16th Jan 2018
8:21pm
Rainey I agree. Cutting drug addicts off welfare will increase crime. The elderly will be easy targets and will pay for this Governnent’s actions. The Governent will kill two birds with one stone. A few less aged pensions will be a bonus.
Jug
16th Jan 2018
8:23pm
I have to pass a drug and alcohol test to earn my wages. So, as I am contributing to the welfare recipients income, I can see no problem with the proposal. This is the age of quality isn't it?
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
6:47am
I presume you are reasonably mentally healthy, Jug, other wise it's unlikely you would be able to earn wages. Therefore, the comparison is totally irrelevant. You are comparing a sick person which can't work with a healthy person who can. If you treat sick people incorrectly, they become sicker. Addicts need their fix. It's not something they can control, and being threatened with loss of income isn't going to help them in any way. It's going to make them desperate, and desperate people do desperate things.

We would all love to end the problems of addiction. We'd all love to stop a minority spending taxpayer funds destroying themselves. But if it was as easy as cutting their welfare, we would never have had a problem in the first place. So go ahead, cut their welfare. And let's see how they respond to that, shall we? With luck, they'll turn to suicide rather than crime. Would that please everyone?
musicveg
17th Jan 2018
2:26am
My main concern is the amount of time, money and energy that will be wasted on testing everyone and only finding a very small amount of people who test positive for drugs. It will not achieve anything but making all Newstart recipients feel more less worthwhile and vindicated, including those over 50 who cannot get work. There is already a long list of drug addicts who search for help and cannot receive it so how about we deal with that first. Where is the so called jobs that Mr Turnball promised, that's right they all went overseas. And what about alcohol, will they test for that too including all the pollies? Alcohol causes far more problems in society than any other drug. Most drug addicts cannot afford the drugs with their Newstart allowance and most ICE is taken by working people.
turtle
17th Jan 2018
9:09am
wow, someone making sense at last.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Jan 2018
3:47pm
Yes, turtle, musicveg makes good sense.

Maybe we should look at the causes of addiction instead of bullying those who succumb.
musicveg
17th Jan 2018
8:07pm
A lot of the cause of addiction go back to childhood. Covering up pain they may have injured or simply a nutritional problem. Many addicts when tested are lacking in vitamins and minerals that keep their mind healthy. Some start off just seeking a bit of excitement because they are bored with society or frustrated or whatever the reason, but find themselves falling into the black hole they cannot find a way out. Don't forget there is a drug culture society and a lot of drug addicts are shunned by main stream society, therefore keeping them in the loop. I remember when my dad gave up drinking alcohol the first time and within weeks he was talked into drinking again from so called friends. Eventually my dad gave up drinking and his so called friends stopped visiting or inviting him over. This happens with drug takers too. Let's help the young ones with good food, support, programs that have proven to work, and most of all stop turning away from them saying it is someone else's problem. I applaud those already working hard to make changes, but they all need more funding.
OnlyGenuineRainey
18th Jan 2018
6:57am
From a WHO report:

''Substance abuse, violence, and abuses of women and children on the one hand, and health problems such as heart disease, depression, and anxiety on the other, are more prevalent and more difficult to cope with in conditions of high unemployment, low income, limited education, stressful work conditions, gender discrimination, unhealthy lifestyle, and human rights violations.''

Yet this negligent LNP Government chooses to persecute the victims of its failure rather than addressing the social and economic problems that cause it. Fix unemployment. Stop pushing the cost of education sky high. Remedy the economic problems causing low income growth. Stop tormenting and reducing income to pensioners and the unemployed. Address the factors causing stress and depression and fewer people would resort to drugs in the first place.
roy
18th Jan 2018
9:59am
Build more prisons and make them fearsome places.
OnlyGenuineRainey
18th Jan 2018
10:51am
You are a nasty person, Roy. Many of the people you want to persecute are victims of extreme social injustice and have become ill in response. Jail the people who CAUSE the problems, not the victims.
roy
18th Jan 2018
11:47am
Oh boy the truth does hurt doesn't it Rainey.
Get me a percentage of "many" of the people. I don't want to persecute anybody, I just want to punish persistent wrong doers instead of hitting them on the wrist with a wet lettuce leaf and when they do go to prison they must just wish that were not there instead of watching t/v, making calls on their mobile 'phones, lifting weights in the gym etc etc. From my understanding prisons are like holiday camps apart from the lost of freedom.
We must severely punish anybody caught dealing drugs and them maybe people wouldn't get hooked in the first place, and when I say punish I mean punish, again not the wet lettuce leaf.
How would you stop people getting hooked in the 1st place Rainey, you seem to have all the answers?
musicveg
18th Jan 2018
1:37pm
Roy, it actually costs more to put people through the court system and look after them in prison than set up rehabilitation centre's where people can get off them for good. As far as drug dealers go, Big Pharma and the medical profession are the worst offenders, as more and more people get addicted to legal drugs. How does someone who is zonked out on anti-depressants get a job or function in society? Worse than some of the drugs, I know because I saw my brother go through this until he died from 'medicines'. Prison does not solve the health problem it makes it worse and keeps them in the loop when they still don't get the right support systems in place and are left homeless and destitute after prison.
OnlyGenuineRainey
18th Jan 2018
6:54pm
So true, musicveg. Roy is the kind of ''holier-than-though'' self-appointed guardian of the righteous who causes half the social problems in our society. I can't see him jailing doctors who prescribe mood-altering drugs that lead people into illegal drug taking. Or the bullying bureaucrats whose persecution of the disadvantaged sends them over the edge mentally. Nor the politicians whose self-serving policies send our jobs off shore and leave the unemployed desperate and destitute, causing mental illness and even driving some to crime.

No, Roy, just persecute the victims. That'll solve everything. And never mind the costs either economically or socially to destroy people who deserve a second chance.

And maybe you should go to prison yourself and see if it's a holiday camp. Anyone I know who has been there has very painful memories and is very keen not to go back. Though some will end up back there because society simply won't give them a chance to go straight. I know a fellow who works as a prison guard and the stories he tells of the inmates who have suffered hideous injustice make my head spin. He says most of them are good people who made a silly mistake and just want a chance to pay the price and move on. Some actually commit a crime to get treatment for addiction, because they get it in jail, but not on the outside - no matter how badly they want it.
roy
18th Jan 2018
10:57pm
rainey, are you related to Mother Teresa by any chance.
OnlyGenuineRainey
19th Jan 2018
7:40am
I'm a realist, Roy. I don't necessarily like everything about the real world, but I acknowledge it. And I don't seek to further blame and persecute the victims of greed, corruption, and abuse of power. They need help, not denigration and abuse. There are some excellent programs that have proven successful in treating addiction, but they are so underfunded that they are at risk of closure. Fund them properly and put all those who fail drug tests into them. But DO NOT take away their welfare and their self-respect and leave them helpless. And certainly DO NOT put them in prison for suffering an illness that is inflicted by the self-appointed super-privileged guardians of the righteous. Clean up the corruption and greed that is causing social ills and mental illness. Or maybe put the self-righteous bastards who create the social problems in prison. There's an idea with merit!
OnlyGenuineRainey
19th Jan 2018
7:44am
Some have suggested unemployment might contribute to causing mental illness that drives addiction. I agree. So we should all be celebrating last night's announcements that job growth has reached record highs. Hmmm! So why is unemployment so high? Oh, that's right, he said it was because TOO MANY PEOPLE WANT JOBS. Doh!

Look, people, we just have to stop these unemployed folk asking for work, otherwise the unemployment rate will never come down and MT won't be re-elected. Got it? Perhaps MT should leave the addicts alone. At least they aren't contributing to making him look a failure.
musicveg
19th Jan 2018
12:31pm
May also be the 200,000 immigrants we allow in the country each year, have you read about the Sustainable Australia Party? Some of their ideas make sense. Also the Government is counting all those part-time, casual jobs too, if they just counted real full-time jobs maybe the figures would look a bit different. Then we have all those who are volunteering to make their Newstart mutual obligation quotas still having to look for work, including those over 50.
almost a grey hair
19th Jan 2018
8:46am
Maybe we should test all welfare recipients including those on the O.A.P. Then we may find out why they haven't been able to secure their own futures after working for over 40 yrs. Too many spliffs behind the bike shed at work or school ? Too many mushrooms while listening to led zeppelin or sabbath or Frank Zappa
OnlyGenuineRainey
19th Jan 2018
5:13pm
Or maybe too much exploitation for rock bottom wages so the privileged can wallow in wealth?
OnlyGenuineRainey
19th Jan 2018
5:16pm
I don't agree with drug testing, Almost a Grey Hair, but maybe we should ask people why they aren't set up to fund their own retirement. The answers might be very enlightening. They might reveal a lot of what is wrong with our society, and I don't think it has anything much to do with drugs.


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