A team of Geelong students say the pill-testing policy they passed in Victoria’s Youth Parliament would prevent some drug overdoses and save lives.
A TEAM of Geelong students say the pill-testing policy they passed in Victoria’s Youth Parliament would prevent some drug overdoses and save lives.
Geelong College Year 11 students Bella Miller, Henry Rodda, Lachlan Houen, Tom Forshaw, Trinity Murphy and Jonathan Hanson drafted a Bill and convinced their colleagues in the Youth Parliament to vote it in on Friday.
Their proposed policy would see medical professionals, police and youth workers manage pill-testing programs at Victorian music festivals. They said allowing festival-goers to check the quality of illicit drugs would improve drug education and reduce the number of overdoses, arguing harm minimisation was more important than law enforcement.
“It’s not just about the poor boy or girl who lost their life due to drugs — it’s also about the mother, father, brother and sister … it’s an issue of community importance,” Trinity said.
State MP Fiona Patten applauded the students.
“This Bill isn’t about promoting drug use, but is about delivering education instead … education that is invaluable and will save lives,” the Reason Party leader said.
In making their case, the students cited the fact there were five deaths in four months during the previous Australian music festival season.
“This Bill passing means if my friend needs help at a music festival, I will not be afraid of speaking out and getting them the help they need,” Bella said.
The Bill introduced by the Geelong College contingent proposed pill-testing booths be mandatory at certain festivals to help prospective drug users understand the contents of their pill and the detrimental effects that it may have on their body.
“Pill testing is at the core of knowledge and education,” Lachlan said.
“We aren’t encouraging drug use, but we believe that the best way for young adults to stay safe is to create safer festival environments. Pill testing saves lives, and that’s the bottom line.”
Ms Patten said she hoped the debate would one day be held in state parliament.