Queensland to Introduce Pill Testing at Rabbits Eat Lettuce Festival

Photo of the dancefloor at Rabbits Eat Lettuce festival

Pill testing will be introduced into Queensland, at a festival where two people died from drug overdoses five years ago.

The Rabbits Eat Lettuce festival will be attended by Pill Testing Australia staff at Elbow Valley, near Stanthorpe in the state’s south, on March 28 – April 1.

Queensland will become the second jurisdiction to allow pill testing, after the ACT where the harm reduction initiative was first tried at the Groovin the Moo festival in 2018.

This was ABC’s reporting:

Despite drug-related deaths at festivals in other states, no other state government has allowed pill testing.

“Pill testing saves lives,” state Greens MP Michael Berkman tweeted on Wednesday.

The move has also been welcomed by festival organisers, advocates for drug harm minimisation and Pill Testing Australia (PTA).

“I want to be clear that these services are all about harm minimisation — we don’t want people ending up in our emergency departments or, worse, losing their life,” Queensland Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said.

“They aim to make people aware of the dangers of taking illicit substances, influence behaviour and, ideally, reduce their use of substances.”

Pill testing involves testers setting up a makeshift laboratory at the festival entrance that does chemical analysis of substances intended to be taken by people for personal use, according to PTA.

That’s coupled with “health professional consultations”, the organisation says on its website.

At the Rabbits Eat Lettuce festival in 2019, the bodies of revellers Ebony Jane Greening, 22, and Dassarn Renna Tarbutt, 24, were found in their tent after their drug-related deaths.


Via: 7 News Australia. Header image credit: Rabbits Eat Lettuce.

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