Australia: I ran a police force and I'm not soft on drugs. This is why I'm backing a pill testing trial - PressFrom - Australia

AustraliaI ran a police force and I'm not soft on drugs. This is why I'm backing a pill testing trial

22:31  14 march  2019
22:31  14 march  2019 Source:

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The calls for pill testing at Australian music festivals are growing louder, with drug advocates " This is so mainstream in Europe now, the European Union has had their peak drug body produce best Other arguments include police simply searching festival-goers in line for drug testing and finding

Why Australia should embrace pill testing 1:13. Pill testing had it's first successful trial this year Those opposed to the implementation of pill testing have argued that it has the potential to send the message that taking drugs is safe Pill - testing doesn’t say to one person, ‘ This is gonna kill you’

I ran a police force and I'm not soft on drugs. This is why I'm backing a pill testing trial© Douglas Sacha via Getty Images Close up of health supplement pills on a blue background There is wide support for a pill testing trial and NSW Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame has added her voice to a chorus urging the NSW Government to commit to a drug summit.

The deputy coroner's reasoning? Our current drugs policy is futile and likely to exacerbate harms rather than to alleviate them.

It's hard to understand why the government won't listen.

A majority of Australians, including a majority of Liberal and National voters, want to see a pill testing pilot too. So do medical bodies like the Australian Medical Association and Royal Australian College of Physicians.

Drug dealer caught with more than 120 MDMA pills at a hard-core music festival where two people died is sentenced to nine months in jail

Drug dealer caught with more than 120 MDMA pills at a hard-core music festival where two people died is sentenced to nine months in jail David Lefu, 26, from Alfords Point, pleaded guilty to prohibited drug supply after he was arrested at the hardcore festival in Penrith last September. Police found a total of 126 pills, including 74 capsules with a 'yellowish crystal-like substance', 46 grey triangle tablets, two red-coloured tablets with the Defqon 1 logo stamped on them, and four round white pills, the Daily Telegraph reported. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited David Lefu, 26, from Alfords Point, was caught with more than 120 pills of MDMA at the Defqon. 1 music festival in Sydney in September 'The bag showed a weight of 13.

“We went to Iraq on less evidence than we’ve got about pill testing .” Palmer argued that current punitive approaches to drug use are demonstrably ineffective at stopping deaths I ’ m not suggesting for a moment we whack up a green light here… this is not about saying taking drugs is a good idea.

Pill testing alerts consumers to dangerous substances and provides an opportunity for education. Sadly, this is not new territory; last year pill -related overdoses in Melbourne led to three deaths and So why are we exposing party-goers to unnecessary risks? Opponents of pill testing argue that it

I am not, and never have been, an advocate for drug use. I am, however, unashamedly a ferocious advocate for reducing the trauma and damage caused by drug use, for preventing the needless loss of the lives of people who take drugs, and for treating them with dignity and compassion.

The issue is clearly complex, but in order to improve it we must be prepared to deal with the reality of the world in which we are living.

In doing so it is important to recognise that there are no "bad guys" in this debate, only "concerned guys".

There are no silver bullets

The deputy coroner had the courage to urge the government to overhaul its treatment of drug users. Now, all political parties need to have the courage to positively respond.

There are no silver bullet remedies, and it is highly unlikely that everyone will be satisfied, no matter what decisions are made and what future pathways are chosen.

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All, as they attempt to slay the bigger dragons of rampant drug use and the failure of policing in the lost "war" on drugs , are in favour of pill testing (at Um, that's not going to happen in NSW while ever I ' m the Minister," he said, rearing up on his hind legs. And that's just sheer effrontery when the

A pre-employment drug test is primarily limited to drugs with the potential for abuse, including some prescription drugs , and alcohol. Hair, sweat, saliva or blood drug test samples may also be used in pre-employment drug screen, although this is not common practice, per Lab Tests Online.

Families grieving at the loss of loved ones from a drug overdose themselves have differing views.

Some have become crusaders for pill testing or wider drug reform. Others are strongly of the opinion that such moves would only aggravate an already serious problem.

Equally, some people with current or previous drug addiction issues support reform whilst others believe such moves will make the pathway to continued use easier and steepen the slippery slope to addiction.

Despite these differences however, no one is suggesting that what we have is good enough.

Standing still should not be an acceptable option for a compassionate and sophisticated society.

I support Coroner Grahame's call for a drug summit, not to achieve any preconceived outcomes but as an opportunity for honest and open discussion and as a commitment to action aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable people.

Refusal to test pills 'stupid': Leyonhjelm

Refusal to test pills 'stupid': Leyonhjelm Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm says NSW should introduce pill testing at music festivals - but not at taxpayers' expense. "If they're going to make that choice, the least you can do is not prevent them from finding out if what they're taking is safe," he said. "I disapprove of taking pills and yet my view is ultimately that's the choice of the individuals involved and refusing to allow pill testing is not going to stop people from making that choice." The libertarian would prefer young people to smoke marijuana which he'll campaign to legalise if elected to state parliament on March 23.

Legalize drugs . Only then can we have a useful debate. Our politicians and police aren't supposed I ' m not saying that people need to take drugs to have an opinion on them, but it's kind of absurd to So why do we do that with drugs ? And why can't we trust people to limit their drug intake the way we

THE Government must consider a pill - testing trial at music festivals or risk more deaths, a drugs expert has warned. But Police Minister Troy Grant says he has no plans to heed the call because a pill - testing trial was not needed to confirm illegal drugs were dangerous.

Not a talk fest, an "action fest".

'Personalise the despair'

In any such dialogue we must be prepared to personalise the despair and suffering that accompanies each drug-related death. To face the raw reality of the consequences of our policy.

Angela Mollard wrote a powerful opinion piece in The Sunday Telegraph earlier this month, in which she explained the impact of the decision of a father in Britain over 20 years ago, to publish a photo of his daughter, Leah Betts, who was dying of an ecstasy-related overdose.

In part, Mollard said: "As his daughter lay in a hospital bed, slack-tongued and brain dead, a web of tubes coiled ominously over her face and chest, he decided to take a photograph of her and release it in the hope that other lives might be saved. The next day Leah's life support was switched off.

And that day I decided I would never take recreational drugs under any circumstances".

The reality though, as Mollard said, is that, nearly 25 years after Leah's death, ecstasy is still Australia's party drug of choice — and it is being taken increasingly in purer form. In many instances an ecstasy pill can be purchased for the price of a coffee.

We're honour bound to do more

These drugs circulate in a totally unregulated marketplace. The quality, toxicity and level of contamination of the drug is unknown and, without external intervention, very unlikely to be identified.

Surely, as a decent society, we cannot be happy with this.

Surely no one believes that Leah "played the game and should therefore take the knocks".

Australia has had too many Leahs. We should be honour bound to do whatever is needed to prevent more.

Michael Palmer is a retired Australian police officer and lawyer who was the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police. He is the co-author of Law Enforcement and Drug Control.

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