NSW Police Minister Troy Grant has demonstrated that he is not up the job of overseeing an intelligent evidenced based police response to drug use, with his zero tolerance approach to pill testing labelled “wishful thinking, simplistic and rash” by an international committee.
Despite all the best evidence, and last night’s Four Corners episode, indicating that heavy handed policing and a zero tolerance approach has no deterrent effect on drug taking, the Minister continues to push a failed war on drugs policy.
Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge has written to the NSW Premier and Police Commissioner calling for the urgent implementation of pill testing to at music festivals, yet in both instances they have passed the buck to a struggling Police Minister.
Greens MP and Police Spokesperson David Shoebridge says:
“The Greens are calling for Premier Baird to take this out of the hands of a clueless Police Minister and give pill testing a role in the suite of harm reduction strategies in use in NSW.
“If pill testing can save lives, why aren’t police being told to step back and let it happen?
“Allowing pill testing is not a statement in support of drugs but it does unambiguously reduce the risk of harm and allow for young people to make informed decision.
“This is a law and order problem with a massive over-investment of $1.2 billion in police, courts and jails that needs to be re-directed to evidence based harm reduction measures.
“The evidence is clear that pill testing can remove at least some dangerous drugs from circulation. Every time this happens is a win for safety and harm minimisation and it’s remarkable that Premier Baird can’t see this.” Mr Shoebridge said.