NSW government to introduce drug amnesty bins at music festivals

In response to a series of drug-related deaths at festivals last year

The New South Wales government has announced yesterday (December 11) that it will roll out drug amnesty bins at upcoming music festivals in an effort to keep “festivals safe”.

The move was put forward by premier Gladys Berejiklian as a response to deputy state coroner Harriet Grahame’s inquest on six drug-related deaths at music festivals last summer, The Guardian reports. According to Berejiklian, the bins will allow festival attendees to discard any illegal substances without any fear of “prosecution or penalty”.

“What we want to do is send a strong message out to young people which is the most important one: do not panic if you see police officers, if you see anything that worries you because you’ve got pills on your person or your friends do, just throw the pill away, no questions asked,” she said, as per The Guardian.

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Grahame had previously recommended the introduction of pill testing, which identifies substances contained in a pill in real time, in order to limit strip searches and stop sniffer dogs at music festivals. However, Berejiklian disagreed, saying, “None of those lives would have been saved [by pill testing] because it was pure MDMA that killed those young people”.

Berejiklian also added that the bins are a “good way to increase safety” among the youths, according to 9News. The amnesty bins will be implemented at all music festivals across the state starting from December 28.

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