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Festival This Weekend Will Be First To Offer Pill Testing

A Groovin The Moo music festival that is about to go down in Canberra this weekend will be the first in Australia to trial pill testing.

Festival Promoter Cattleyard gave the pill-testing trial the green light after a major stand-off with ACT Government, police and health officials on the subject lasted weeks after the promoters made a series of demands that couldn’t be agreed to under ACT law.

But eventually the trial was given the tick of approval, and now festival goers attending Groovin the Moo in Canberra this weekend will be able to have illegal drugs scraped and tested in a tent by independent group STA-SAFE.

The tests will be able to show people what chemicals are inside and according to health experts, young people become less likely to take illicit drugs when they knew what was in them.

Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris spoke about the trial on behalf of the ACT Government, saying that they don’t “condone illicit drug use.”

“However, [it] will provide an opportunity to encourage people who are considering using illicit drugs to modify their behaviour in ways that reduce risks of harm to their health.”

The party-goers heading to The University of Canberra for the festival this Sunday will remain anonymous if they choose to use the pill-testing facility. STA-SAFE will instead collect information about their drug habits in order to help authorities form policy.

People will also be told which chemicals are included in the drugs and any potential side-effects that may come from taking them, which ACT Health says helps users avoid taking unknown and potentially dangerous substances.

This will be the first time that pill-testing is trialled in Australia after the Spilt Milk festival pulled out of an ACT Government-approved trial just weeks before the event due to alleged issues with documentation.

Pill testing already occurs in about 20 countries around the world including Europe, the Americas and New Zealand.

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