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Pill Testing Could Save Tasmanian Lives

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Tags: Health, Preventative Health, Pill Testing, Police, Festivals, Drug Policy

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Police spokesperson

Police Minister, Rene Hidding, once again showed Tasmanians he would rather continue a failed "war on drugs" than reduce the risk of drug deaths among young people.

Last week, 12 young people were hospitalised and one died on the Gold Coast after consuming a drug they thought was ecstasy.  Queensland Police confirmed the synthetic drug cocktail they took was nothing like ecstasy.

Right now, young Tasmanians are planning a summer of fun and music with their friends.  People are booking their tickets for the Falls Festival and others.

It is a fact of life that some young people will experiment with drugs. 

Backyard labs in Australia and overseas are concocting synthetic drugs.  There are no standards on the ballooning illegal drug industry.

Currently, young festival goers have no means of checking what they're taking. It’s effectively Russian roulette with drugs.

Minister Hidding is continuing to take a dangerous and punitive approach to people who use drugs.  Tasmania shouldn't have to see festival drug deaths before we step in and take action to keep people safe. 

Pill testing is a protection measure the Police Association of Tasmania and members of the medical profession support. 

Pill testing can save lives, dramatically reduce the amount of drug-taking, and give police valuable information about what drugs are circulating in the community. 

It's extremely disappointing Minister Hidding continues to reject this harm reduction measure at Tasmanian festivals.