Australian authorities have warned that any groups partaking in New South Wales’ first ever pill testing program could face “a lot of legal jeopardy” if festival goers come to harm after having their pills declared safe.
Authorities have said that organisers could be charged with drug supply and manslaughter over the pilot program, which is set to take place later this year at an undisclosed NSW festival.
On Monday, Deputy Premier Troy Grant slammed the pilot program – which will be crowdfunded in the coming months – as a “very dangerous regime that the NSW government fundamentally rejects”.
Will Tregoning, the founder of drug law reform agency Unharm, said: "We absolutely have to create that sense of trust around the service.
"One way we will be doing that is by ensuring there are very many supporters of the service present to essentially created a buffer from police activity for consumers accessing the service."
He explained that the buffer would be an important component to the fledgling program, to help build trust from participants and hamper police efforts to arrest those partaking in the program.
The program is still months away – which should mean there’s still time for dialogue between the opposing parties – but despite the grandstanding from authorities, Tregoning said that they’ve already received a lot of “support” from a host of festival promoters.
Tregoning said that education and harm prevention was at the core of the program: “If people are in possession of substances that place them at a really high risk, we want them to throw them away and the best way to do that is to provide them with information.
“As long as government continues to stand in the way of this service they are making it more likely that people will die.”
[Via Sydney Morning Herald]