Media Release: Premier’s denial of pill testing evidence an ideological endangerment of life

Press Releases | Dec 12, 2019

The Take Control campaign for safer, saner drug laws is lashing Premier Berejiklian’s refusal to consider tried and tested harm minimisation measures like pill testing as a senseless and ideologically-motivated policy that will only cause further drug-related deaths.

Premier Berejiklian yesterday announced she is “closing the door” on pill testing and a raft of other recommendations made by the NSW Deputy Coroner to prevent drug-related deaths at music festivals, in flat-out denial of expert opinion and years of evidence-based research on drug use.

Former federal police commissioner and Take Control spokesperson Mick Palmer said the Premier’s words betrayed a shocking disregard for evidence-based policy, only doubling down on the “law and order” approach that has for decades failed to reduce drug use or drug-related deaths.

“I am deeply disappointed by the Premier’s statement that she has closed the door on pill testing,” said Mr Palmer.

“It is difficult not to see it as a neglect of duty for a government to ignore such overwhelming evidence. It beggars belief that they would so openly dismiss a coroner’s recommendations without any explanation beyond the ideological.

“If the Premier has shut the door on pill testing then she has also shut the door on evidence-based policy. Evidence is what she asked for. This is a tragedy for good government and also for good policing.

“Solid evidence is what we must live by. We must start recognising that a reduction in deaths of young Australians is more important than a reduction in drug use.”

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