According to the Sydney Morning Herald NSW Premier Mike Baird has struck down the idea of pill testing on-site at music events after national music festival Stereosonic said they’d back the initiative pushed by drug expert Alex Wodak.
The initiative would allow real time testing of a range of drugs with scientific equipment to figure out what it contained as well as advice from doctors on the potential effects they may have.
Strangely enough the same premier months ago chastised festivals to protect their attendees after a string of deaths last year even threatening to shut them down if not enough was done (you know, like offer pill testing).
As far as we can see the festivals has done their part and more in bringing international talent to Australia, offering jobs and often boosting the local economy while allowing punters to safely have fun with security, trained bar staff and medical teams on-site.
The only organisation not doing their supposed part is the NSW Police force who struggle to stop drugs being taken in and consumed or government in trying alternative and proven methods to curb dangerous drug usage.
The very theory behind pill testing is sound in allowing individuals to have a better understanding of what they are taking or potentially not taking if found to contain any toxic substances. No part of the pill testing encourages users to consume the drugs, just given more information… sort of like with alcohol, cigarettes and prescription medicine.
There is undeniable evidence that people take drugs, don’t die and will continue to take drugs. Pretending like the issue doesn’t exist is possibly the most problematic of them all.
Companies like eBay, Uber, Airbnb and even the now defunct Silk Road offer a way for customers to review their experiences and from that, pressure on drivers, homeowners and dealers to provide a safe service or product.
Pill testing already exists in a number of European cities that often have communication between clubs to warn of unsafe drugs in circulation.
The sound advice from Mike Baird; “Don’t do it. That is the best form of safety you can do. Don’t take the pills and you’ll be fine.”