Festival’s pill testing trial ‘potentially illegal’

Groovin the Moo 2015. Photo by JOSEPH MAYERS

FOLLOWING the ACT government’s decision to allow a pill testing trial at this weekend’s Grooving the Moo festival, shadow Attorney General Jeremy Hanson has described the initiative as irresponsible and potentially illegal.

“The Labor-Greens government has acted irresponsibly by pressuring a festival promoter to participate in an unproven and potentially illegal trial,” Mr Hanson says. 

“By the government’s own admission, mobile pill testing kits may not trace all strands of synthetic substance in illicit drugs, and the available literature on pill testing ‘does not provide evidence that pill testing prevents deaths among festival patrons’.

“Assertions that pill testing will save lives are misleading, and doctors and toxicologists have echoed these concerns.

“Pill testing is also claimed to be a ‘legal minefield’ with lawyers saying participants could face criminal charges. In this case, the government has sought to disrespect the law by picking and choosing to whom the law will apply.

“Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet when it comes to protecting festival goers from illicit drugs.”

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