Live events sector
The Green Party in Australia has prompted a rewiew of drug laws after successfully passing a motion through the Senate calling for the introduction of pill testing and an end to the use of sniffer dogs at music festivals. The motion passed without objection from either major party, and calls for an number of harm reduction measures, including “needle and syringe programs”, “supervised injecting rooms” and “pill testing”.
“We know that [dogs] frighten people into taking their drugs in one hit and are contributing to overdoses rather than preventing them,” Greens leader Richard Di Natalie wrote in The Guardian earlier this year, adding that “a government’s responsibility is to keep our young people safe.”
Comment in Austrlia says that any meaningful change will require the cooperation of the state governments – but that this remains unlikely. NSW Premier Mike Baird has previously dismissed the concept of pill testing as “ridiculous”, while Tasmanian Police Minister Rene Hidding called it “quality assurance for drug pushers” – despite the fact that Tasmania’s police association came out in support of just such a proposal.