NSW Police Minister Troy Grant has ruled out the potential introduction of pill-testing after the non-lethal overdose of a woman at this years Field Day.
The near tragedy has led the Baird Government to speculate ‘cracking down’ on music festivals as being part of the problem.
Mr Grant told ABC Radio on Monday that “We’re not going to set up a regime testing for something that’s illegal to see if it’s safe to ingest or not,” adding that the drugs themselves were ‘crude’ and were mostly created with various toxic chemicals;
“They’ve got battery acid, they’ve got rat poison, they’ve got cleaning fluid as part of the concoction of these drugs,” he said according to SMH.
“Who in their right mind would ever ingest that sort of stuff? The consequences are crazy. Even with prescription drugs they have different impacts on [different] people. That’s only amplified when you get these crude illegal drugs”.
Unknowingly Mr Grant has given us the exact reason for giving pill-testing the green light with successful tests in Europe at festivals and clubs proving that the more you know, the safer you can be when making individual choices.
Also… did Troy Grant offered any alternatives?
In response president of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation and former head of the drug and alcohol program at St Vincent’s Dr Wodak, said he had “never heard of” such ingredients being included “but it’s possible”.
“If that’s the crux of the problem, why not at least allow the drugs to be tested? And if they do contain the things that Mr Grant claims that they contain, then we have a chance at picking them up”.
When looking at the bigger picture music festivals in Australia create huge economic booms for first and secondary industries while supporting local talent and drawing in international artists.
On average 500,000-750,000 people attended music festivals in Australia in the last year and there have been in total six deaths. While this is a tragedy maybe the issue has been blown out of proportion and there are other alternatives to creating a safer experience for punters rather than the same, tired rhetoric by the NSW Police.
What do you suggest we do moving forward?