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An Australian political party has announced it is throwing a rave to gather support for its pill testing policy among young voters ahead of the Victorian election.
Reason Party leader Fiona Patten announced on Tuesday that the rave, at a bar called Shifty’s in the inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, will be five hours of house and techno music played by artists who support the legalisation of pill testing.
“I wanted to reach young people who support pill testing, and too often politicians go for the campaign textbook – like rallies in pubs or protests – which turns into angry people yelling into microphones,” Ms Patten said.
“Who wants to listen to that?
“I think the average young punter prefers the 808 drum machine.”
She stressed there would be no actual pill testing at the event as it is currently illegal.
Pill testing is the anonymous submission of samples of illegal drugs for forensic analysis with individual feedback on results and counselling.
The Reason Party’s policy, to install front-of-house drug checking facilities at music festivals and other events, is part of its broader drug law reform agenda.
Ms Patten said pill testing would help emergency workers treat patients suffering adverse reactions to illicit drugs and would save lives.
She has been in parliament since 2014 when she was elected to the upper house.
The Reason Party will field a candidate in each of the eight upper house districts, as well as some lower house seats on November 24.
Party policies include legalising, regulating and taxing cannabis, more medically-supervised injecting centres, pill testing at events, greater political accountability, removing tax exemptions from for-profit businesses owned by religious institutions, and reducing pokie venue trading hours.