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ANU Review Demands Action on Pill Testing

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Tags: Pill Testing, Health, Drug Policy, Festivals

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

The release of the much-anticipated Australian National University’s review of the ACT Pill Testing Trial confirms the findings of previous trials. The review found, once again, pill testing reduces harm for people that may use drugs and has the potential to save lives.

The ANU review found the pill testing service at Groovin’ the Moo did not encourage the use of drugs. Instead, the young people who used the service were more likely to avoid taking illicit drugs.

Despite the direct recommendations from the NSW Coroner - including that pill testing facilities should be installed at festivals immediately - the Hodgman Government has continued to delay a final decision. They keep claiming they need ‘more information’.

The Deputy Premier told Parliament last month that, “other important information should also be considered: in particular, the independent review by the Australian National University”.

The results of that review are conclusive, and the Hodgman Government must honour their commitment. They must now accept pill testing doesn’t give a ‘green light’ to drug use, nor does it tell festival-goers it’s safe to use drugs.

Instead, the evidence of this formal independent review is clear - pill testing saves lives.

The Hodgman Government is not only deluded if it continues to cling to a 'just say no' response to pill testing, it would be abandoning proven harm minimisation methods that can save the lives of young people.

In Parliament last month, Mr Rockliff said, “there is no safe use of any illicit drug, which is why we do not support pill testing or drug checking”. He also went on to say his cabinet colleagues were “prepared to listen to people's views, for and against, and consider any evidence put forward”.

The reality is the government is happy regulating and profiting from the sale of tobacco, even while any level of tobacco smoking is now medically proven to cause harm.

With the evidence from the ANU review and the NSW Coroner’s findings, the government should be supporting festivals like Party In The Paddock who are ready to run pill testing at their festival this summer.

Instead of spreading mistruths, the Liberals need to accept the evidence and walk away from their dangerous 'just say no' to drugs platform