On Sept. 28, the government published drug test results for the 78 randomly-selected members of Chile’s lower house of Congress. None tested positive. However, three abstained and one presented a medical certificate for cannabis consumption.
The suspense was palpable in Chile’s Congressional building on Wednesday, Sept. 28, as members of the lower house waited on the results of drug tests taken Aug. 22 to Sept. 5 by the University of Chile’s Lab. The 75 congresspersons randomly selected receive a letter at 2:00 p.m. with the news: all of them tested negative.
These exams are part of the new entity regulations, which establish that members of Congress must take at least two exams during their legislative tenure. The rule was approved earlier in August, so this was the first testing.
Alongside the letters personally handed to every Lower House member, Secretary General Miguel Landeros also published a statement online. The statement also confirmed that, initially, there were supposed to be 78 test takers, but three abstained: Clara Sagardia Cabezas (Broad Front), Marisela Santibáñez (Communist Party), and Jorge Durán (National Renewal).
The cannabis certificate
One of the members, Emilia Schneider (Broad Front), also presented a medical certificate for cannabis consumption.
“I have acknowledged that I smoke and have smoked weed, and I don’t think that there is any problem with that. I also see this opportunity to clarify that I do not have any bond with drug trafficking and I have no doubts about my partners from the Broad Front either,” Schneider declared to the media. She did not give details about the certificate, due to its privacy.
Catalina Vergara is graduated in Social Communications from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She has previously worked on Strategic Communications.