Pill testing activists say the Defqon.1 ban will do more harm than good

Following the NSW Premier’s announcement that the Defqon.1 music festival will be banned from the state, pill testing advocates have expressed their concerns about the decision.

Gladys Berejiklian revisited the government’s ‘zero tolerance’ approach to drug use in Australia, but advocates are concerned that the ban will lead to more unnecessary deaths.

Image: Brooke Turnbridge

During this year’s annual Defqon.1 festival, two young attendees passed away from a suspected drug overdose. Pill testing advocates suggest that there is a clear solution to the use of dangerous drugs in Australia.

A few pro-pill testing advocates took to Twitter to air out their concerns about the supposed drug problem consistent during Australian music festivals.

The leader of the Greens party, Richard Di Natale, called for pill testing in music festivals as a means of preventing drug-related harm after it was announced that Defqon 1 was to be banned in NSW.

“More tragic, preventable loss of life. Rather than shutting down the festival, the Premier should be open to the evidence. Pill testing saves lives.”

Professor Kate Seear, a drug academic and avid pill testing supporter, used the evidence from Groovin the Moo pill testing trials earlier this year. Seear suggested that knowledge is the most powerful tool in preventing overdoses, rather than bans that force users into the shadows.

Some people are suggesting the only solution to overdoses like those at Defqon is to not use drugs. I’d encourage those people to read about the results of the Groovin the Moo pill test. Among other things, people decided not to use after having pills tested.”

Doctor and ‘pill testing activist’, David Caldicoot, criticised the alternate forms of drug prevention as ineffective.

“And so it begins…another crap start to our summer season- and earlier than many anticipated. This is what happens when your Plan A is sniffer dogs and strip searches, and you don’t have the gumption to have a pragmatic Plan B.”

Via ABC and Music Feeds.