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 UNSURPRISINGLY, DRUG FESTIVALS CAUSE DRUG DEATHS

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Neferti
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Neferti

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PostSubject: UNSURPRISINGLY, DRUG FESTIVALS CAUSE DRUG DEATHS   UNSURPRISINGLY, DRUG FESTIVALS CAUSE DRUG DEATHS EmptyTue 18 Sep 2018, 7:45 am

Let’s quickly get one thing straight. The Defqon. 1 outdoor event at which two young people died on the weekend was not a music festival where a few attendees took drugs.

Instead, it was more like a drug festival where music happened to be playing.


The numbers support this view. Two people dead from apparent drug overdoses. Three others in critical condition. More than a dozen requiring hospital treatment.

Some 700 sought medical assistance at the event itself. Nearly 70 people were found in possession of drugs. Ten of those were charged with supplying.

These figures all point to an event where drug-taking was central rather than peripheral behaviour.

So when critics of Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s move to shut down similar events planned for Sydney claim she is attempting to ban music festivals, they are incorrect. The Premier is not seeking to outlaw live music or to criminalise festivals.

She is talking about cancelling events that have a dangerous drug-taking ethos at their very core. The musical element is all but incidental.

Curiously, a number of the Premier’s critics are usually among the most ban-happy people imaginable.

The Greens, for example, want to ban coal mining, coal-fired power plants, live sheep exports, plastic bags, the internal combustion engine, political donations, greyhound racing, uranium mining, helium balloons and fast-food advertising, among many other processes and products. You name it, the Greens want to ban it.

But show the Greens an event with a proven and tragic track record of death and ruin, and any talk of a ban is suddenly off-limits.

“This is a knee-jerk response to say she’s going to shut down a music festival,” Greens leader Richard Di Natale said yesterday of Premier Berejiklian’s plans.

“She could get out of the way and allow pill-testing to occur.”

Leave aside the disturbing spectacle of Di Natale calling for the premier of this state to simply stand aside following the deaths of two young people, and let’s look further at his “pill-testing” notion.

“We know that if those drugs that were taken had been tested,” the Greens leader said, “there is a very good chance those individuals would be alive right now.”

What a masterpiece of Greens logic. It assumes people who have purchased an illegal substance of unknown origin and composition from a drug-dealing criminal would then subject that purchase to a complete scientific toxicology analysis – if only access to such analysis was available.

And free. And on-site. And able to provide results instantly. For every single pill in every batch of pills.

Besides the obvious procedural complexities, this is like expecting someone who is four times over the legal blood-alcohol limit to dutifully check tyre pressures before driving home from the pub. People who are already on a reckless, life-threatening course generally don’t pause to make sure they’re correctly following health and safety guidelines.

“If you make it a safe environment, set up testing sites, make it more welcoming and open then you'll have a safer festival and safer people,” another anti-Berejiklian critic declared on social media yesterday. “Most people OD because their drugs aren't safe or tested.”

More accurately, all people who have ever overdosed were taking drugs. As the Premier put it: “Anyone who advocates pill-testing is giving the green light to drugs. There is no such thing as a safe drug and unfortunately when young people think there is, it has tragic consequences.”

The Premier is correct. Moreover, those who are demanding the introduction of a pill-testing regime are ignoring the fact that NSW very recently completed a massive field study into the safety or otherwise of illicit street drugs.

This study involved thousands of participants and a wide range of narcotics, hallucinogens and stimulants, some taken individually and some in combination.

It was called Defqon. 1, and it conclusively proved that illegal drugs are deadly.

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/unsurprisingly-drug-festivals-cause-drug-deaths/news-story/7b207f3b960e3c1594f55cc298165e03
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