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Allow pill testing in Victoria

The Andrews Labor government is refusing to introduce pill testing – putting lives at risk. The Greens are calling for safety to be put first – pill testing should be introduced as soon as possible!


Allow pill testing in Victoria

To Premier Daniel Andrews 

Doctors, experts and the public agree: pill testing saves lives. Support the Greens legislation to minimise harm from drug use and allow pill testing.

Pill testing saves lives

As a doctor, I support harm reduction – which means saving lives as our first priority. Five people have died in the last few months, those deaths were preventable. We must end the war on drugs and begin to focus on saving lives. We did this with a safe injecting room, and we can do it with pill testing.

Last year the Greens introduced legislation to allow pill testing: the Labor Government wouldn’t support it and ‘maintains its clear position against changes such as pill testing and decriminalisation of drugs.’

Australia has a national strategy on drugs that includes harm minimisation as a key pillar. Pill testing is exactly that. The Victorian Government is ignoring the very strategy it has agreed to support.

It is unacceptable to let young people die to act as a deterrent for others.

It’s evidence-based

Pill testing is nothing new. It’s been implemented in countries across Europe, such as the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, for decades now. Indeed, it’s so established that the European Union produced pill testing best practice guidelines.

And it’s a simple procedure. The owner of a drug can have it tested by health professionals using laboratory equipment. Minutes later, they receive the test results and can then make an informed decision about whether to take the substance.

If they decide not to take it, they can dispose of their drug in a provided amnesty bin.

The Labor and Liberal parties don’t support it

On November 29 last year, the Victorian Greens gave the first reading in state parliament of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Lab-Grade Pill Testing Pilot) Bill 2017. Neither party supported us. A recent poll showed 57 percent of Australians support a roll-out of pill testing services, while only 13 percent of those polled opposed the idea. And support was highest amongst those aged 55 and over. Victorians want pill testing: why won’t Daniel Andrews listen?

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