The Brag Media
News January 21, 2019

Sydney takes to the street over pill-testing as Keep Sydney Open reveals drugs policy

Sydney takes to the street over pill-testing as Keep Sydney Open reveals drugs policy

Sydney rallied on Saturday for pill testing at music festivals and EDM events as the issue continued to grow in strength.

Co-organiser Keep Sydney Open told TMN it estimated the crowd at the Town Hall-to-Hyde Park rally at 2,000.

Politicians as David Shoebridge, Richard Di Natale and Kerryn Phelps spoke to the crowd on harm minimisation.

The rally was also organised by Reclaim the Streets, Unharm, Sniff Off and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Keep Sydney Open revealed its drug policy as it contests the March 23 NSW state election.

It is to introduce free pill testing at music events, festivals and fixed locations like public health facilities; end sniffer dog programs; reduce police strip-search powers; push to legalise use of cannabis in NSW, and replace criminal penalties and fines for personal drug use and possession with health and education programs.

Party spokesperson Tyson Koh said, “Treating drug use as a law enforcement issue is expensive, ineffective and can even be harmful.”

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The rally had a boost the day before when the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, whose members number 25, 000, sent an open letter to premiers and chief ministers saying there was enough evidence for test, and for them to work with the medical industry to devise tests.

The Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners earlier made similar calls.

Meantime in Tasmania, testing advocate, Dr David Caldicott called for a debate on the issue after premier Will Hodgman again last week maintained its stance against it.

Dr Caldicott told Tasmanian media that tests could be introduced on the island “within a fortnight”.

He stressed, “At no stage will we say if drugs are good or safe. “The phrase we use is: ‘If you want to be 100 per cent certain, you shouldn’t use any drugs today’.”

This morning the Herald Sun reported that a “powerful group of Victorian MPs and an inner city Melbourne council” are pushing behind-the-scenes for pill testing in Victoria


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