Pill testing is likely to begin in Australia this summer according to drug safety expert Dr David Caldicott.
“We’ve got the funding. Meetings with law enforcement have been face to face and in more than one jurisdiction outside of NSW,” Caldicott said.
“There are very senior police supporting us currently. There are very senior politicians supporting us currently. We are now working out how we can have a system in place for the forthcoming festival season.”
Pill testing is back in the spotlight after a spate of worldwide drug deaths including in Argentina at Time Warp Buenos Aires and in the UK after a 17-year-old girl died just last weekend at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester after taking a double-strength mastercard pill.
Details are still a bit vague on Australian pill-testing, like which states will be taking part in the tests. So far Victoria is likely to be one area of interest after a petition collected more than 37,000 signatures according the Will Tregoning, the director of drug law reform group Unharm.
“We’re planning to use that petition to encourage the Victorian government towards a drug-checking trial, and I expect we’ll see positive results,” Tregoning said. “Something will come of this, which is exciting because there’s been so little progress for so long.”
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much stomach for a similar regime in the UK under the current Tory government. The Warehouse project has been testing drugs that have been posted through their amnesty boxes and then using social media to inform potential users about what sorts of pills are in circulation and there potency.
Though these sort of measures are few and far between they haven’t made it to any large-scale UK festivals that we’re aware of yet.