Shane Rattenbury, MLA
The ACT Greens today are relieved that the Government has announced that pill testing will be accessible in the ACT.
“Our priority is, and has always been, ensuring the health and safety of our young people,” ACT Greens MLA and drug law reform spokesperson Shane Rattenbury said.
“Today’s announcement is an important step forward, acknowledging that drug law reform is a public health issue—and our first priority must always be to minimise harm, and to keep Canberra safe.
“We’re pleased to see that the Government has finally listened to the advice of numerous public health experts and the Canberra community.”
Earlier this month, the ACT Greens tabled a petition of more than 1,000 signatures backingpill testing in the ACT. The proposal also formed part of the ACT Greens’ election commitments. The Greens have actively campaigned for pill testing at recent music festivals – at Groovin The Moo both in 2016 and 2017, and for Spilt Milk last year.
“The Greens will always advocate for policies supported by the evidence. Public health organisations and experts have long told us that there is overwhelming evidence to support pill testing as an effective harm minimisation measure.”
“Pill testing will also provide data for public health or law enforcement purposes, as well as an opportunity to reach a population of users that would otherwise be unlikely to engage support services,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“At the moment health and law enforcement authorities in Canberra know little or nothing about the presence of harmful drugs available at any particular time in the ACT. We don’t have a coherent, real-time early warning system about what drugs are circulating in the community, but the data collected through pill testing could help fill this gap.
“The ACT has a strong track record of underpinning drug policy with evidence. In establishing pill testing in the Territory, we’re paving the way for greater harm minimisation measures across states and territories,” Mr Rattenbury added.