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Advocates renew their push for pill-testing after another festival death

Advocates are renewing their push for governments to look at pill-testing in the wake of another pill-testing death.

A 22-year-old Queensland man died after taking an unknown substance at a festival on the Central Coast, promoted as a drug-free event.

Two others were also taken to hospital.

Three people have since been charged with drug supply.

It’s the fourth suspected overdose death at a New South Wales festival in as many months.

Organisers of the Falls Festivals went so far as to issue a warning about a dangerous “orange pill” currently in circulation in Australia.

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley has shifted his stance, saying pill-testing should not be off the table.

He tells Deborah Knight if elected, he’ll hold a drug summit.

“If the experts come back and say, ‘Don’t do it, it will just encourage children, it will be counterproductive’, then we won’t do it.”

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Former AFP Commissioner Mick Palmer tells John Stanley he’s “saddened, by the government’s refusal to even debate or discuss this as a possible option”.

“It’s a chance for interaction and engagement between people who are going to test the drug and the people who are thinking about using them.

“Every time you have an engagement like that, you get a potentially positive result out of it.”

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President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation Dr Alex Wodak says he’s “absolutely” in support of pill-testing.

“I think we should have done it 20 years ago,” he tells Warren Moore.

He says politicians “aren’t listening”.

“They want zero responsibility for their zero-tolerance policies. It’s not right.”

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