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Gladys Berejiklian Refuses To Budge On Pill Testing Despite More Festival Deaths

Another festival goer lost their life over the weekend.

Gladys Berejiklian pill testing

Credit where credit is due: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian sure is committed to consistently being the worst when it comes to pill testing.

Berejiklian has once again shut down the possibility of the NSW government developing a pill testing program, following the tragic death of a 19-year-old man at a festival over the weekend.

Callum Brosnan, who was attending the Knockout Games of Destiny dance party in Sydney, died following a suspected drug overdose. Berejiklian, for her part, has described his passing as “a human tragedy.”

It is absolutely a tragedy — but it’s also a tragedy that the government can do something about right now. As in, today.

Pill testing has already been adopted at festivals across Europe, and its effectiveness there is speaking for itself. Which makes sense. Hard-line responses to drug-taking and dealing of the kind Berjiklian adores has never, ever worked – remember that whole ‘war on drugs’ thing the U.S. government waged; y’know, that glorified PR move which was an expensive, wildly ineffective coded war on poor people and people of colour? Yeah, how did that end up panning out?

Yet even in the face of mounting evidence that proves the effectiveness of pill testing, Berejiklian and her liberal cronies keep singing their same sad, utterly incorrect song.

“If we thought it would save a single life, of course we would go down that path,” Berejiklian told an assembled crowd of media. “Unfortunately, what pill testing doesn’t do is really take into account people’s different physical attributes. What is safe for one person isn’t safe for another.”

How’s that for a big old load of horseshit? Pill testing might not take into account different physical attributes, but what it does test for is a range of deeply dangerous substances pills can be laced with. In that way, it’s an opportunity for festival goers to make sensible, informed choices. What it’s not is the tacit endorsement of drugs the ill-informed liberal party seems to think that it is.

A pill testing trial was held at Canberra’s Groovin’ The Moo festival earlier this year, and was widely deemed to be a success.

“We were able to identify two highly toxic substances, and a significant amount of drugs that differed from people’s expectations,” one of the people behind Groovin the Moo’s drug testing trial, Matt Noffs, told Junkee earlier this year. “They had everything, from paint, to lactose, to milk powder and toothpaste.”

If you want to show your support for pill testing and get it over the line, here’s how you can do that.