The Queensland Government has given the green light for pill testing trials to occur at specific sites across the state. The announcement comes after it relaxed its laws around the possession of small drug quantities in favour of a three-strike policy. Fuck yeah.
“The Palaszczuk Government will allow pill testing services for the first time as part of its commitment to reduce risks and harms associated with illicit drug use,” said a government statement.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath also commented that “we need more in our toolkit to address these harms than ‘just saying no’, because right or wrong, people will experiment regardless.
“The intervention is intended to provide information, explain the risks of drug-taking, reduce serious harm, and facilitate access to treatment and support, where needed.”
The state’s pill testing program coincides with its announcement on Tuesday that laws around the carrying drugs for personal use would be eased.
JUST IN: The Palaszczuk Government is committed to keeping Queenslanders safe, and that includes in our nightlife precincts and music festivals.— Yvette D'Ath MP (@YvetteDAth) February 24, 2023
That's why we have announced that Pill Testing will be available in Queensland. pic.twitter.com/aky83ypdhO
Police Minister Mark Ryan has spear-headed the state’s new three-strike policy whereby three warnings are given before folks are arrested for possessing small quantities of illicit substances.
“We know that one in six Australians have used an illicit drug in the last 12 months,” he told state parliament per the ABC
“It’s an approach that relieves the pressure on our criminal justice system and allows our police to focus their attention on people that profit on the suffering of others by producing, supplying and trafficking dangerous drugs.”
The new initiative makes Queensland just the second state or territory in Australia to begin a state-organised pill testing program.
The ACT was the first regional government to implement a similar regime.
Since July, the program has led to some borked findings about the type of drugs being bought and sold in Australia.
For example, the Canberra pill testing site CanTest examined 58 samples across one month last year and the results were absolutely shockin’.
So shockin’ in fact, that 18 of the 58 people who submitted bags decided to bin them when they found out what they were actually made from.
Moreover, out of all the cocaine samples run through the territory’s testing process, 40 per cent showed up with zero cocaine at all. Lol.