Quote of the Week #10
Words by Sandra Buol
“I’m very concerned about the young people who are now going to be taking drugs under the misapprehension that these drugs are safe. This is sending a very bad message about drug use in the ACT. It’s essentially saying we’re the pill popping centre of Australia.”
Jeremy Hanson, ACT opposition’s shadow attorney general, 27/04/2018
During the 1980s, Zurich had a heroin problem. It was home to one of the biggest open drug scenes in the world, thousands of addicts would assemble first around Platzspitz park, then known as “Needle Park”, and later at the former train station Letten. People died en masse. The repressive strategy of government and police clearly didn’t work.
It was then when Switzerland developed a model based on four elements: prevention, therapy, harm reduction and prohibition. It was a huge success.
With the rise of techno came the need for new methods. The junky needs clean needles and safe space to administer their drug. The partygoer on the other hand needs to know if their pill is spiked with dirt or how potent their powder is. Drug testing facilities are present at all major events these days.
What sometimes some people – and many parents – don’t want to recognise is how widely recreational drugs are used these days – and I’m not talking about weed here. I hardly know anyone who hasn’t popped a pill or snorted a line at some point in their life. Even LSD seems to celebrate a comeback. These are people who mostly do drugs fairly responsibly, and while they’re forced at the mercy from dealers they appreciate the chance to have their stuff tested.
Drug testing facilities will not encourage more people to do drugs. But they will make it safer for those who do it anyway. And they will make it harder for dodgy producers and dealers to have their dirt sold.
In this spirit: Rave it safe, Canberra!