Pill-Testing In Victoria Could Be Legal By This Time Next Year If Government Bill Is Passed

A bill for legal pill testing in Victoria has been introduced at parliament today.

The Pill Testing Pilot for Drug Harm Reduction Bill would establish a mobile pill testing service for major music festivals, as well as a fixed-site service for more detailed analysis year round. 

The bill was introduced by the Victorian Greens, the Animal Justice Party, and Legalise Cannabis Victoria.

If passed, pill testing would be established in Victoria by this time next year, in time for the summer festivals.

Experts have been calling out for reforms after a number of deaths in recent years following people unknowingly consuming high doses or other substances.

Drug alerts in the state have been issued after pills containing two to three times the usual dose of MDMA were found, as well as pills containing other, potentially harmful, substances.

Speaking to PEDESTRIAN.TV, CanTEST Peer Educator Mitch Lamb said it was “about time” drug testing was introduced, saying Melbourne in particular was a big city with a lot of drug taking.

“I think from here it is going to become a lot more streamlined with other states introducing this,” he said.

“Originally when we pushed drug testing it was an uphill battle, we had overseas information from places like Amsterdam, but politicians said that’s overseas and not relevant here.

“But now we have data from Canberra. And look how positively it’s been taken, not only amongst users but by ACT residents who really like this service. The majority of people here support pill testing.”

He said pill testing was not just about seeing if somebody’s drugs were safe but also about providing education around drug consumption.

“I don’t see a strong argument for why we don’t test, it’s beyond time for this to happen.

“With that prohibition comes a stigma of information. Ten years ago the government would never put itself into a position of how to take drugs safely.

“Now I have conversations with people from 18 to 70 and talk about what they’ve got and how to take it safely.”

The two pill testing sites would be licensed for two years and could be extended for a further four years following a review.