New South Wales government to introduce drug amnesty bins at music festivals

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New South Wales government to introduce drug amnesty bins at music festivals

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Still no pill testing though.

The New South Wales government has announced it will introduce ‘amnesty bins’ at music festivals in the hopes of giving festivalgoers a chance to dispose of illicit drugs “without fear of prosecution or penalty”.

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new measures are part of the state government’s continued war against drug consumption at festivals. The government will also improve information sharing between state agencies about the toxicology of drugs found at festivals.

“Amnesty bins will provide a quick and easy way for music festivalgoers to discard their drugs – no questions asked,” Berejiklian said in a statement.

While this may look like a step in the right direction, it still falls short of what the government’s own coroner’s office has recommended. According to a report released by deputy coroner Harriet Grahame in November, the evidence in support of pill testing was “compelling”. Berejiklian adamantly refuses to implement pill testing at festivals.

“At the end of my reflection I am in no doubt whatsoever there is sufficient evidence to support a drug checking trial in this state,” Grahame said in the report.

“Drug checking is simply an evidence-based harm reduction strategy that should be trialled as soon as possible in NSW.”

The new measures follow the suspect drug-related death of a 24-year-old Strawberry Fields earlier this month.

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