This morning I spoke with Steve Martin on ABC Local Radio Ballarat about pill testing and the overwhelming reasons why it's the best option Australia has to reduce drug use, fatalities and open up dialogue between health practitioners and people who are thinking of taking a substance.
After the tragic events at Defqon1, NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner, Allan Sicard (who is anti pill testing) said ....
"What we can’t do is be in people’s heads, be in people’s decision-making processes when they decide to take illicit drugs, Police can only do so much."
This is exactly what pill testing can achieve so effectively. Health practitioners intervening and counselling people and providing them with important factual information about the substance they're already planning to ingest. It's been shown to work overseas and achieve signigicant positive outcomes.
I have litte doubt pill testing will eventually happen nationwide, the terrible quesiton is, how many more people need to die before politcians untie our hands and allow us to try what we know will work? <3
Nice 1 mate. I’m looking forward to when the message gets through to our leaders. It’s happening in Richmond and St Kilda with safe injecting rooms, hopefully the same sense will prevail for all substances. You are right, it will happen. Hopefully soon!!!
you are very good at getting the message across Tim, here's hoping change is around the corner.
Good on you Tim Harvey.
Great interview, I found you to be highly informed and highly convincing. Side note, ol' mate Steve used to work with my Dad at ABC Orange and we were in a play together once.
Nice 👍🏽 be Tim! Keep fighting the good fight!
Well done Tim. Little by little, the powers that be will start to listen. But yes, it is tragic that every time they open their ears for a nanosecond, it is the result of someone needlessly, tragically dying.
Excellent stuff mate. Good on you for using your experience on the matter to put forward facts not media hyped bullshit.
It’s beginning to feel like Groundhog Day in Australia and I’m getting sick of seeing young people die while politicians flog the dead horse of zero tolerance knowing full well it’s never been the answer to anything beyond scoring votes in elections. Seriously, even having the death penalty in places like Indonesia doesn’t deter drug use or trafficking, what more proof is required to show that drug use is here to stay, it’s time to try something different!
The disturbing fact is politicians are either trading young lives for votes, or they are simply too wilfully ignorant to listen to experts and consequently should be removed from positions of influence and power.
The anguish parents go through losing a child is horrific, I’ve seen it firsthand. It shouldn’t take a politician losing their own child to understand lives come before ideology or unattainable pipe dreams. All evidence backed proven strategies for reducing harm from substances should be immediately initiated nationwide starting with pill testing before this catastrophe gets even worse.
Politicians built this dangerous prohibitionist road. They deny any plea by experts to place warning signs (#pilltesting) on lethal corners and have the audacity to then blame car makers (festivals) when young drivers take risks and plummet to their death!
They can try and play Whac-A-Mole with events, attempting to shut them down but this knee jerk, frankly nonsensical strategy ignores two very important facts.
1. People take drugs outside of festivals, shutting events down will not stop drug deaths, it will increase fatalities as events go underground and no longer have adequate level of health services to treat people affected.
2. Festivals and events are by far the VERY BEST opportunity for health professionals to intervene with users before they ingest a substance and educate them about the associated harms and strategies to stay alive.
If politicians want to reduce drug use and save lives pill testing at festivals and events is the BEST option currently available. This has been proven time and time again in Europe where pill testing has been conducted for years.
How many more lives do we lose before our politicians finally capitulate and acknowledge the already proven benefit of pill testing? At what point does the loss of life outweigh the potential votes garnered from a tough on crime approach?
These deaths are preventable, it is a conscious decision by politicians to risk the lives of Australians by preventing the programs that create meaningful change.
This current situation is reprehensible, it needs to change and change NOW! <3
Hitting that nail on the head again mate. I’m actually at the point of wondering who these pieces of shit are being paid off by for this to continue. Where are the stats on alcohol deaths daily?
Well said. It’s tiresome and immeasurably idiotic 🙄🙄🙄
Perfectly put Tim!
I have a interesting question to put forth to you. Would you be willing to have your festival employees contractors and volunteers all drug tested in exchange for pill testing to be legalized and made available at your festival. Now please don't read anything more into this question. I feal that a good example should always come from the top down. Personally myself I've seen plenty myself from the inside . But if music festival management are not seen to be genuine in leading from the front. I think by not doing so gives these politicians a easy target to divert the blame onto festival and management. I think this approach will sort out the shit who shouldn't be putting on music festivals to be honest.
Final edits happening on the 2018 Rainbow Serpent Festival Retrospective and I’m soooo excited to share it with you all.
This year we get to explore some of the local Pyrenees community and some of the colourful folk who live there. Really feel you’re going to love it. Amazing work as always from the Byron Film team!
Should be hitting your screens before the end of the month!