Time to end cruel approach to pill testing

The current approach to illicit drugs in NSW is both ineffective and cruel, lead candidate for the Liberal Democrats David Leyonhjelm has declared.

“While taking drugs is risky and not advisable, it is fanciful to think that people won’t do it,” he said.

“I am fed up with politicians who think that threatening and locking up people who haven’t harmed anyone else, is a legitimate policy. As a policy, prohibition has comprehensively failed.

“Banning pill testing and threatening to shut down festivals if organisers fail to prevent overdoses is also authoritarian and ruthless. There will be more deaths and the government will be at least partially responsible for them.”

While other parties want pill-testing to be publicly funded, the Liberal Democrats’ approach differs.

“Pill testing needs to be legalised first, and once it is legal, private enterprise can provide this service, not taxpayers,” David explained.

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“All available evidence shows that pill testing reduces the risk that people will die from consuming a substance that contains dangerous adulterants. The ACT Government trialled pill testing and uncovered contaminated substances. All patrons who had their pills tested at the Spilt Milk festival went home safe.

“This is in contrast to the government of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, whose failure to allow pill testing in NSW has led to deaths at NSW festivals.”

David listed this issue as part of his motivation for running in the NSW election. Members of the Liberal Democrats attended a rally earlier this year to protest the current laws.

“Instead of pursuing life-saving, evidence-based policy, the NSW Government now wants to regulate major festivals out of business using excessive regulations,” David said.

“If I am elected on March 23, I will be using my position in the crossbench to change the current cruel laws.”

/Public Release.