A group supporting pill testing have been challenged as to whether they would take responsibility for any death following pills being tested.
The challenge has come from Health Minister Michael Ferguson after the harm reduction groups responsible for Australia’s first pill testing trial offered to host a free pilot program in Tasmania.
Pill Testing Australia have made the offer to all state and territories governments, in response to a number of drug-related deaths at mainland music festivals in recent months.
“We do not support giving people a false sense of security in taking illegal and dangerous drugs. Neither will the Liberal government be helping out drug dealers gain more customers with a complimentary testing service,” Mr Ferguson said.
“There are serious concerns over how many lives could be lost by people taking an illegal and dangerous drug under a belief that it is safe, and families who have lost loved ones are calling on governments to reject testing for this reason.”
Mr Ferguson said it was reckless to suggest there was a safe use of illicit drugs.
Pill Testing Australia made the offer for a free pilot on Monday morning.
- Lawyers’ group supports pill testing is health issue
- David Caldicott says pill testing could be set up in Tasmania 'within a fortnight’
- Pill testing again in focus after Party in the Paddock calls
- Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council of Tasmania supports pill testing at festivals
- Royal Australasian College of Physicians urges Tasmanian Government to support pill testing
Earlier this month, Tasmania’s Party in the Paddock organisers announced their plans to offer a high-grade, professionally facilitated pill testing at the 2020 event, but acknowledge it did not have government support.
Take Control spokesman Matt Noffs said all governments had a responsibility to end festival deaths.
“This is a medical intervention and it’s about having a doctor in a tent at every festival,” he said.
“It’s an intervention, a final safety net when, despite every measure, despite the police gauntlet, these kids are about to take drugs.
“Every government should take Pill Testing Australia’s offer up.”
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