Canberra’s going to be the first Aussie city with a fixed pill testing site thanks to a six month pilot program which kicks off in July.

The pill testing site was originally announced in 2021 and more details were released back in April.

Now the pill testing site will be launching in just a couple of weeks.

According to The Guardian, it’s going to be run by Harm Reduction Australia who’s working with Australian National University and Directions, a health service provider.

It’ll be in the Canberra CBD and open for two nights every week.

Dr David Caldicott, a senior clinical expert at ANU’s Faculty of Medicine who does work with Pill Testing Australia spoke to Sydney Criminal Lawyers about why the fixed pill testing site was so important.

It represents a bit of a watershed moment for us and for drug policy in Australia,” he said.

“We are party to the implementation of policy because the science and evidence supports it, and not because of an ideology or a political preference.”

Harm Reduction Australia’s president Gino Vumbaca told The Guardian there was potential for the site to increase the number of nights it operates after the trial.

“Depending on demand we might increase the number of nights we’re available,” Vumbaca said.

“What we want to see if other governments having a serious look at this.”

The ACT also recently decriminalised loads of drugs for “personal possession”.

Essentially if you’re found with drugs like ice, ecstasy, heroin and coke within that “personal possession” limit you’ll face a fine instead of prison time.

At the time ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith highlighted the importance of not criminalising drug users.

“We know from research and evidence around the world that criminalising drug users does not reduce drug use and that treating drug addiction as a health issue improves outcomes for everyone in the community,” she said. 

Canberra’s fixed pill testing site will launch on July 19. Now can the rest of the states and territories please catch TF up?

Image: Getty Images / Bloomberg / Universal History Archive