What In The Pill Testing?
In order to save many lives, festival goers will be able to test their party drugs before entering a festival. This program is being implemented without fear of arrest for those who choose to use the services.
The free, anonymous pill testing services will be run by those from Safety Testing & Advisory Service at Festivals & Events (STA-SAFE).
Halt – No Judgement Zone
Despite seeing the organizers of Spilt Milk pull the plug on plans by SSTA-SAFE, Australia pill testing advocates remain hopeful of implementing legal pill testing prior to the Canberra leg of Groovin The Moo in 2018.
President Gino Vumbaca gave his take on the program before the 2017 Spilt Milk Festival.
“We’re talking about safe drug use,” Vumbaca clarifies. “We want people to be as safe as they can be when they’re using drugs, and that means knowing what they’re actually using.”
“One thing that we’ve made very clear is that we won’t be telling people that it’s safe to use a particular drug. There are harms associated with any drug use. What we’re trying to do is make it safer. It won’t be promoting drug use, but it won’t be condemning drug use either. It will be a non-judgmental approach.”
You can read more about his speech here Spilt Milk Article
Spilt Milk promoter Kick’s Entertainment has claimed the testing trial was cancelled because STA-SAFE had not provided the correct documentation in a timely manner, something that STA-SAFE member Dr David Caldicott disputed at the time, suggesting that the issue was a result of the event being held on Commonwealth land.
In a statement on November 25th after the Spilt Milk Festival, ACT Police said they were “satisfied” with the crowd behaviour. Only three people in total were taken into police custody during this year’s festival.
Dr David Caldicott and STA-SAFE are looking to bring in pill testing at the first opportunity available. The ACT (Australian Capital Territory) is currently the only state/ territory that has the backing of government and law enforcement.
Dr Caldicott advises this will not be a problem at the 2018 Groovin The Moo, as the event is held on ACT land.
“We have no intention of waiting for Groovin the Moo. We are currently looking at alternatives across Australia and the Territory before that” Dr Caldicott said. “But this remains the only jurisdiction that has been bold enough to embrace pill testing.”
As there are more updates on these testing sites and what to expect from their programs, we will update our site.
You can read more about the matter at the links below:
Photos: J Brebner Photography / Wikimedia Commons