Former justice minister refuses a drugs test

Former justice minister refuses a drugs test
Thomas Bodström, chair of the Parliamentary Justice Committee and former justice minister, has come out in favour of voluntary drug testing, but when Sveriges Radio asked him to submit to a test, he refused.

Bodström is in favour of introducing voluntary drug testing and lectures regularly on the issue, while his successor as justice minister Beatrice Ask is in favour of introducing compulsory drug testing of young people. Sveriges Radio’s P3 programme decided therefore to ask the two leading politicians to submit to a drug test.

When a P3 reporter arrived at Bodström’s office in Sweden’s parliament, the Riksdag, he initially agreed to submit a sample of urine for testing.

“Yes, you can test me for drugs,” Bodström said after having been introduced to a nurse who works with drug abuse and testing issues, at which point the Sveriges Radio reporter said, “then we need to find a toilet.”

Once it became clear that the drug test was to happen immediately, Bodström rose from his chair and removed his jacket and was apparently prepared to submit a urine sample.

But immediately after the nurse explained which drugs would be shown by the test – amphetamines, hash, opiates and benzodiazepines – Bodström changed his mind.

“No, never mind. I am backing out. I don’t feel like it now, I feel that it would be too personal and I feel all sweaty with my shirt and everything,” he said to the reporter and nurse.

Thomas Bodström later explained that he felt that he did not want to take off his clothes in front of a stranger to perform the test and said that the introduction of any testing should be conducted with caution.

Beatrice Ask meanwhile submitted to the test without reservation.

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