Proposal: Drug Tests for Kids Under 15

The sitting government has put forth a proposition that would make it legal to drug-test children under the age of 15 without parents’ permission. In direct opposition to an earlier opinion expressed by the Council on Legislation, Justice Minister Beatrice Ask holds that the importance of identifying potential drug abusers early in life trumps issues of integrity.

“Early action against young people who abuse drugs is absolutely crucial,” she told news agency TT.

The Council on Legislation, which judges the validity of parliamentary proposals, has maintained that urine tests infringe too widely on individual integrity when used to determine insignificant drug crimes.

The Council has also warned that urine tests can be used by police as a sort of punishment, but Ask dismisses that concern by saying that police have better things to do than badger youths.

The government’s proposal also recommends that police always instigate criminal investigations of children under the age of 15 if the crime is punishable by at least one year in jail.

But the Council is critical of this point as well, maintaining that it could lead to a lowering of the age of criminal responsibility.

Yet Justice Minister Beatrice Ask rejects the criticism, saying instead that the proposition is an important part of schooling youth.

“It is a way for society to signal that we don’t accept anything and everything.”