News April 24, 2019

Pill Testing Australia launches fundraiser for national tests

Pill Testing Australia launches fundraiser for national tests

As it prepares for its second pill-testing initiative at Groovin’ The Moo in Canberra this weekend, Australia has launched a fundraising campaign on its website.

The initial target is $100,000, to buy a couple of schmick pieces of tech to do the testing (ALPHA II FTIR spectrophotometers), assist with logistics, resources and volunteer travel.

“While $100k is a great start, if we can come together as a dedicated progressive community and raise a bucket load more, we can really take the fight to the those who oppose this initiative and get this essential harm reduction strategy implemented nationwide,” says harm minimisation activist Dr David Caldicott.

“Over a dozen professional medical bodies, medical, nursing, paramedical and pharmaceutical now stand with us and 20 years of global data shows that shows pill testing reduces drug consumption and reduces harm.”

The Canberra test will have two machines this year, instead of one, and twice the number of testers.

Dr Caldicott’s recent offer to the Northern Territory government to come up at his cost to do tests at the BASSINTHEGRASS festival was, as to be expected, turned down.

However, Queensland could be opening up its options in the wake of two suspected drug overdoses at the Rabbits Eat Lettuce festival in Queensland this week.

According to WA Today, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is looking at the outcome of the Canberra tests.

Health Committee chairman Aaron Harper will be at Groovin’ The Moo Canberra to discuss the issue with various identities.

Premier Palaszczuk said both harm-reduction measures and tougher enforcement were being considered.

“If we need to look at tougher enforcement, that option is still on the table as well,” she said.

ACT health minister Meegan Fitzharris’s wrote to all the health ministers around the country inviting them to check the tests.

At this stage none have indicated they will attend, although NSW Health is apparently still considering.

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