Inaction on drugs

The following letter was published in the Canberra Times on 25 April, 2017 following the inaction of the ACT Chief Minister on introducing pill testing in the ACT.

Inaction on drugs

Maybe it’s my age but I found reports of last year’s Groovin the Moo music festival repulsive (“Security guards accused of mocking sick revellers” April 29, 2016 p6).

If I couldn’t persuade my children to do something else I would, at least, want them to return home safely, but the government version of safe messaging is a police presence threatening young people with arrest and panicking them to down handfuls of pills to avoid detection.

The Barr government’s decision to block pill testing at this year’s festival on May 7 (“Pill testing call stirs frustration”, April 22, p22) could well turn a groovin’ event into heartbreak.

What will move a politician? Must it be:

A fleet of ambulances such as ferried to hospital 21 people from the Electric Parade music festival at Melbourne in February as could so easily have happened at last year’s Groovin the Moo music festival; or

The death at a 2014 music festival in Sydney of 19-year-old Georgina Bartter from a suspected ecstasy overdose; or the death of their own child?

Bill Bush, vice-president Families & Friends for Drug Law Reform, Turner