Category: Drug Offences

Another Casualty of the War on Festivals: An Interview With a Psyfari Organiser


At the moment, the NSW Liberal Nationals government is conducting an all-out assault on this state’s festival industry. And the reason why it’s doing it, is it can’t deal with the fact that in order to stop drug-related deaths, it needs to allow people to test the contents of something that’s illegal. Instead, Berejiklian and ...

Pill Testing Kits Available at Pharmacies


The President of the Australian Medical Associate, Kean Seng Lim, has urged caution following the announcement that a pharmaceutical chain is selling basic kits which test for the presence of popular illicit drugs such as MDMA (‘ecstacy’) and cocaine. A safety measure The Choice Pharmacy group has outlets in Western Sydney, Darwin and Vincentia – ...

Foreigner Allowed to Stay in Australia Despite Drug Supply Conviction


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim The Department of Home Affairs outlines on its website that since amendments were made to the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) back in November 2014, the number of noncitizens who’ve had their visas cancelled on character grounds has increased by over 1,400 percent. The Migration Amendment (Character and General Visa Cancellation) Bill ...

Police Can Now Issue On-the-Spot Fines for Drug Possession


Since 25th January 2019, NSW Police Officers have been empowered to issue on-the-spot fines for certain drug possession offences. Those who are issued with a fine will avoid a criminal conviction if they decide to pay, rather than contest it in court. The NSW Government claims the move is designed to make festivals safer and ...

Getting Honest About MDMA: An Interview With NSW Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann


This music festival season has seen more drug-related deaths and hospitalisations in NSW than ever before. And at the same time, the police presence at these events has also been the heaviest in the state’s history. So, something isn’t adding up. The Berejiklian government continues to take a heavy-handed law enforcement approach to the use of ...

Beyond Pill Testing: Calls to Legalise and Regulate MDMA


As far as regularly used licit and illicit drugs go, pure MDMA is one of the least dangerous around. This is an idea that might take some by surprise considering the deaths of five young people – who at least thought they were taking MDMA – at NSW music festivals over the last five months. Also known ...

Government Continues Festival Crackdown and Ignores Pill Testing


Over the long weekend, 25 people aged between 16 and 25 were hospitalised after taking illicit drugs at music festivals around Sydney. This, of course, follows on the deaths of five young people in drug-related circumstances at festivals over the last five months. This week, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian stuck to her heavily refuted “just say no” stance. ...

Youths Demand Pill Testing to Stop Deaths: An Interview With SSDP’s Sofia Devetak


Decades ago, the Just Say No campaign was launched by Nancy Reagan, wife of then US president Ronald Reagan. Comprised of the simple idea that telling children to say no to illicit substances would somehow stop drug use, the campaign has subsequently been hailed as a monumental flop. “We ask young people not to do it,” ...

Keep Poppers Legal: An Interview With the Nitrite Group’s Paul Kidd


The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) released an interim decision last year that would see amyl nitrite and other alkyl nitrite inhalants banned. This means these substances popularly referred to as poppers would be moved into schedule 9 of the Poisons Standard along with drugs like heroin. The use of nitrite inhalants is popular amongst gay and bisexual ...

Pill Testing Saves Lives, and Does Not Lead to Increased Drug Use


By Ugur Nedim and Zeb Holmes In the wake of a spate of recent deaths at Australian music festivals, the mainstream media is starting to report on the potential benefits of pill testing – and politicians from the major parties are starting to listen. The main sticking point seems to be the concern that pill ...