Greens MP and spokesperson for drug harm reduction, Cate Faehrmann, has introduced legislation that would allow a trial of pill testing at music festivals and a fixed site across New South Wales in the Upper House today.
Pill testing could be trialled over next year’s music festival season if three minor Victorian parties get their way on Thursday, a day after the state government announced it was open to talks about decriminalising personal use of cannabis.
Pill Testing Australia confirmed on social media that the free drug-checking service would be available at Canberra’s Spilt Milk festival on Saturday. The free, confidential service will be available to festival goers on the festival grounds from 11:30am.
On November 25, KnowYourStuffNZ is celebrating the two-year anniversary of the Drug and Substance Checking Legislation Act 2021. This Act made drug checking permanently legal in Aotearoa New Zealand, a world first.
The Greens have renewed their calls for free pill testing, in an urge to the Victorian Labor Government to take up an offer to establish a free pill testing trial. It calls growing calls from all around Australia, as experts say pill testing is essential to saving lives. The offer was made by Harm Reduction Australia and Pill Testing Australia, who want to run a trial at a summer music festival similar to one currently being trialled in ACT.
At an event at Parliament House today, PTA offered a cost-free trial of its public health based pill testing service to the Victorian Government – the offer is supported and endorsed by a variety of unions and organisations.
Dr David Caldicott, Clinical Lead for Pill Testing Australia and CANTest, who provide festival and fixed-site health and drug checking services in the ACT, told Yahoo News Australia that Canberra has offered other states, like NSW, free trials.
The Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA), with the support of 77 health and community organisations, published a statement on Monday pushing for the Victorian government to implement a drug-checking service and early warning system in the state.
Many of the harms people experience from using illegal drugs are a result of unregulated supply. Drugs may be contaminated, or completely substituted with something unexpected. They may also be of variable and unknown dosage or strength.