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Support grows for pill testing in Australia

New South Wales officials want purity checks on ecstasy

  • Dave Turner
  • 15 February 2016

The New South Wales (NSW) government in Australia is being pushed to introduce pill testing.

Six people died after taking what was believed to be ecstasy last year, including Sylvia Choi at Stereosonic, leading to law officers and other country officials calling to test the purity of tablets.

One of those backing tests is Catherine Quinn of Victoria Police, the only force to test its drug seizures, saying the information needs to be available to the public.

She said: "Yes, I think it's very valuable and I think law enforcement thinks it's valuable - law enforcement isn't just about the investigation of these things, they're about mitigating and reducing harm in the community and one of those things is about information."

Although the NSW Police Minister Troy Grant is against the idea of testing drugs, the state's former director of public communications, Nicholas Cowdery, believes current measures such as searches may actually be risky.

"There can be some harmful effects, for example if somebody sees a sniffer dog coming along they might rather stupidly swallow whatever they've got and there have been some examples of that and that can lead to very serious physical harm."

Police Minister Grant, though, claims, unless it can be proved that testing reduces drug-related incidents and deaths, he won't let it be introduced while he's in office.

"What you're proposing there is a government regime that is asking for taxpayers' money to support a drug dealer's business enterprise — that's not going to happen in New South Wales while ever I'm the minister."

[Via: ABC]

Dave Turner is Mixmag's Digital News Editor, follow him on Twitter here

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