After the death of a 19-year-old man at a music festival on the weekend, a high-ranking police commander issued the statement: ‘There is no acceptable use for drugs’.
What a weird thing to say. Someone’s lost their kid and he’s issued a moral statement telling kids ‘it’s wrong’. Is he blaming them? Does he really think that a moralising punitive approach is going to impact on partygoers?
‘I was going to take drugs this weekend but the cops said it’s unacceptable.’ What kind of language is that anyway?
It’s like something out of a Jane Austen book. ‘Mr Darcy’s just dropped some MDMA, he bought it off Miss Bennett. It’s unacceptable.’
Drug taking would certainly make Pride and Prejudice a lot more tolerable. Acid can only improve a second reading.
It’s been a while since I last took illicit drugs but I do remember it was fun. A lot of fun. Unacceptable fun. That’s the point of taking drugs isn’t it?
All over the world young people take drugs at festivals. They don’t do it because it’s ‘acceptable’. They do it because it’s fun. And everyone else is doing it. I guess for them that makes it acceptable.
In fact at some festivals if you’re not on drugs you’re the odd one out. Even young people who wouldn’t ordinarily take drugs will decide that this is their chance to give it a go.
Festivals and illicit drug taking have always been bedfellows. Big Music, Big Lights, Big Pupils. I think not accepting that is unacceptable. I think not introducing pill testing at festivals is unacceptable. Kids dying when we could have prevented it with a change in policy is unacceptable.
Harsh drug penalties clearly don’t work. If they did people would have stopped using drugs decades ago. But they haven’t. We can’t ‘stop’ kids taking drugs so why don’t we make it safer? Why not give them the agency to make a choice whether to take a substance by telling them just what it is they are about to take?
Our government puts young people at risk because they won’t introduce a harm-minimisation strategy that has been shown to reduce these sort of outcomes. The NSW government won’t play ball. They’ve decided to have a beer and occupy the high moral ground.
Kids die on high moral ground. Like that boy on the weekend – and the two kids a few months before. Instead of following the lead of countries worldwide who have introduced pill testing and reduced deaths, the government have introduced tougher drug supply and possession laws. Yep, if you take drugs, you’ll get the naughty chair. Great. Now they’ll just lock our kids up instead. More kids will be arrested.
And you know what will happen? I predict that won’t impact on festival drug taking at all. It will probably just increase it. The 18-year-old woman at the Knockout Games of Destiny who was arrested with 400 MDMA caps will no doubt go to court and allegedly face her destiny. If found guilty (eg. of supply), she will face a long sentence, and she will bear the legal brunt of that young man’s death when it should be our government.
Pill testing is a no-brainer. Prohibition puts our kids at risk. Young people are highly supportive of pill testing as it allows them to make informed choices. Not have their choices made for them.
We’ve been making choices for our kids since they were born and I think you’ll find they don’t respect our authority that much. We talk to them about the dangers and unacceptability of drug use, but at the same time we continue to imbibe fossil fuels like there’s no tomorrow.
Hang on, there is no tomorrow. It’s no wonder they want to get out of it. They are the first generation to deal with the impacts of climate change that could potentially see them never make it to 50.
I’d say our dependence on fossil fuels in the face of our kids’ diminishing future is what I’d call ‘unacceptable’. I’d say that multinationals who continue to invest and expand their climate-change-causing portfolios are occasioning more deaths than a couple of backyard ecstasy manufacturers. Why aren’t we knocking on their doors and arresting a few CEOs?
Coal dealers cause more deaths than drug dealers. So do something for the safety of young people: make fossil fuels illegal and introduce pill testing.