Máté Kocsis calls for mandatory drug testing

December 8, 2014


Budapest District 8 mayor Máté Kocsis (Fidesz-KDNP) has a problem with drugs.

The former Fidesz MP and director of communications has made quite a name for himself over the past year persecuting the homeless and shutting down Budapest’s largest needle-exchange program.  True to form, Kocsis now proposes minors aged 12 to 18, elected officials and journalists undergo mandatory drug testing.

Kocsis posted the following statement on his Facebook page on 5 December:

I read about drug-related news almost every day. There are serious debates taking place around the issue because it’s affecting a growing portion of society. I’m shocked when I often read the opinions of  “drug policy” experts because there are lots of us who would much rather hear about an anti-drug policy. Drugs are dangerous and we want to protect the children and the future. I think it would be a good idea to introduce regular drug testing on society’s most vulnerable, the decision-makers and those who shape public discourse. This means 12- to 18-year-olds, elected politicians and journalists would have to be drug tested every year. I’m going to recommend this to Fidesz’s parliamentary fraction so that they put this on the agenda and work out the details that it can become law.

Antal Rogan, Fidesz parliamentary fraction leader and former mayor of Budapest’s District V., today said that anyone who opposes drug testing supports drug consumption. Rogan himself was recently implicated in a scandal involving the sale of a district property to the girlfriend of an underworld figure for roughly half its true market value.

Rogan said Fidesz’s parliamentary fraction would support Kocsis’ recommendation, but with conditions. When asked about the details of the proposal Rogan responded that the people will have to wait for details as it is still being worked out. He promised the proposal would be ready by late February.

Rogan also stated that Fidesz’s parliamentary fraction has asked the government to research what the technical requirements would be and how much the drug tests cost. He said legal experts would be consulted, opinions would be solicited from the Ministry of Justice, and parliament’s Legislative Committee chairman Gergely Gulyas would also be working on the proposal.

In a stunning break from typical Fidesz legislative crafting, Rogan cited a need to consult teachers and parent organizations.

A Facebook page entitled, “One Million Urine Samples for Fidesz” appeared on Sunday afternoon, facetiously encouraging those who like the page to send their urine samples to Fidesz politicians.  The page has since received over 4,000 Likes.

At a press conferene held on Monday, Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) politician Zoltán Lukács called for Fidesz to “take its dirty hands off our children”.   Calling Kocsis’ proposal a “nightmare” and “on a certain level of mental illness” Lukács estimated the proposed drug testing would cost over HUF 40 billion (USD 180 million) annually and noted that presently the proposed budget for 2015 only contains some HUF 100 million for drug prevention.

Timea Szabo, Dialogue for Hungary MP, criticized Kocsis’ idea and instead called for a mandatory breathalizer test for parliamentarians.  (Too bad there isn’t a test for spousal abuse-ed.)

Jobbik MP Előd Novak called the idea unacceptable and said money would be spent more effectively on drug-prevention programs.

Referenced in this article:

Rogán: Támogatjuk a kötelező drogteszt ötletét, HVG.hu; 8 December 2014.

Drogtesztet akar az újságíróknak, politikusnak és tiniknek Kocsis Máté, 6 December 2014