News March 21, 2018

Groovin The Moo pill testing approved by Canberra Uni, promoter’s stance still unclear

Former Assistant Editor
Groovin The Moo pill testing approved by Canberra Uni, promoter’s stance still unclear

Pill testing at Groovin The Moo in Canberra this year just got a step closer to becoming a reality, with hosting venue the University of Canberra giving the green light for a trial to take place.

The significance of the go-head is that the ACT Government owns the land on which the uni stands, and they’ve been vocal supporters of pill testing trials for some time now.

“The University of Canberra is open to supporting a pill-testing trial at a festival held on university grounds, providing the main stakeholders and relevant authorities are all in agreement,” a university spokeswoman told the ABC.

If it goes ahead, the testing will allow festival attendees to go to a tent to have their pills scraped to discover their chemical composition, before they’ll recieve education and advise about any potential unknown dangers in the make-up of their pills.

TMN previously reported that the ACT Government approved a pill testing trial for Spilt Milk festival in Canberra last September, however the trial never eventuated, with speculation circulating that the festival taking place on Commonwealth/Federal land was a factor.

At the time, Spilt Milk promoters claimed that the consortium STA-SAFE, who were to run the testing, hadn’t filed the necessary paperwork. The consortium maintained that they had filed everything asked in a timely manner.

STA-SAFE member and Doctor David Caldicott also suggested that the promoter may have been pressured into pulling out of the trial.

A spokeswoman for the government told the ABC it remains supportive for a controlled trial. 

“The ACT Government supports a controlled trial of pill testing, conducted by an independent consortium, as was proposed for the Spilt Milk Festival last year,” she said.

“The current proposal for Groovin the Moo will undergo the same cross-government evaluation that occurred last year for Spilt Milk, and the relevant working group has been reconvened.”

It remains to be seen whether Groovin’s promoter Cattleyard Promotions will sign on for the trial for the Canberra event on Sunday April 29.

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