Depending on who you ask pill testing is a sensible public health measure that saves young people from dying from accidentally poisoning themselves (health professionals, drug education professionals, people who run festivals, young people) or a terrible idea that just won’t work because drugs are just bad (politicians, most notably NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian).
And at this point the latter position holds sway over all the states, which is one of the reason NSW has been shedding music festivals as the state government institute expensive and punitive licensing conditions and penalties instead.
But in the Australian Capital Territory pill testing is a thing, and Groovin The Moo organisers have issued a statement saying that pill testing found seven potentially deadly substances at the festival on Sunday.
In all cases the people with the drugs ditched their stash, meaning that they didn’t take things which might have killed them. And thus on the Monday this report was published, were still alive. Nice!
Notably, in other states that’s not the case. And there’s a body count as a result.
And sure, we can wag fingers and say that kids these days should say no to drugs and be high on life instead, but the fact is that seven people had dangerous drugs they were planning to take, and then they didn’t. It’s hard to spin that as a negative.
Will this change anyone’s policy? Probably not. After all, if these people don’t die because of taking drugs, how on earth will they learn that drugs are bad and that they shouldn’t take them? WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN???