An annual music festival has ended with the tragic deaths of two young people and several people hospitalised for suspected drug overdoses.
Defqon.1, a Sydney hardstyle music festival, was held over the weekend attracting a crowd of over 30,000. Police reported up to 700 people seeking help from medical staff at the music festival. Ten people were also charged with drug supply offences at the festival.
NSW Premier maintains a “zero tolerance policy”
Premier Gladys Berejiklian initially responded to the tragedies by vowing to ban the event, criticising organisers for failing to meet drug safety requirements.
Instead, backtracking, she will assemble an “expert panel” to advise the NSW Government on how to make music festivals safer. The panel will not be looking at the option of pill testing because the Government does not support it. The Premier maintains a “zero tolerance policy” and has stated that pill testing would be giving a “green light” to drug consumption.
Pill testing trials have shown its effectiveness
The Government needs to change their approach to the issue of drug consumption. Banning events such as Defqon is not an adequate solution because people will always find a way to bring drugs into festivals and other events. The “war on drugs” is overshadowing the need for stronger drug education. Pill testing needs to be genuinely considered because it has proven to be effective in helping people reconsider their decision to consume drugs.
The Groovin the Moo festival in Canberra earlier this year conducted an Australian first pill testing trial. A service was provided that allowed festival-goers the option to test their drugs to determine its ingredient. The results surprised many consumers with some capsules containing unexpected toxic chemicals. This caused people to change their minds about consuming the substances after realising the real contents of the drugs.
Following the successful Canberra trial, there have been calls to making pill testing available at all festivals and music events. A pill-testing scheme would provide an opportunity to educate and inform drug users about the dangerous consequences of drug consumption. This would be a more effective long-term solution to preventing drug overdoses.
We are experienced drug lawyers who can advise you on drug related matters
If you attended Defqon and have been charged with drug possession or supply, or believe that you might be under investigation for such offences, it is important that you get advice from an experienced drug lawyer.
Our firm has represented many clients in drug related matters. For example, we helped our client AW avoid a criminal conviction after he was charged with drug possession at a music festival in Sydney. After pleading guilty, we represented AW in his sentencing hearing where his lawyer presented a strong defence case outlining his genuine remorse, age and lack of criminal record. Read more about the case here.
Contact us on (02) 9261 4281 to book a free initial consultation with one of our criminal defence lawyers.