Al Jazeera America goes inside drug-testing world of the Bunk Police
Anyone who has taken high school health knows that abstinence-only education doesn’t always stand up to the real world; As a music festival enthusiast, Adam Auctor knows that zero tolerance policies don’t always stand up against a drug-affiliated culture. Though Auctor is not his real name, he is the man behind the Bunk Police, and Al Jazeera America recently spoke to him about how he is bringing a harm-reducing mentality to festivals across the country through his controversial drug testing kits.
His mission is fairly simply: Educate users on what they are taking to reduce the likelihood of ingesting harmful “bunk” drugs. His means are by selling testing kits on festival grounds, but thanks to the RAVE Act, his method is by smuggling the kits in without the festival’s permission or knowledge.
Festival promoters fear that allowing testing means they are illegally allowing drug usage, but Auctor willingly risks ejection or seizure to reduce harm instead of pretending that harm doesn’t exist. His kits themselves are so legal they’re sold on Amazon, and use color-inducing chemical reactions to indicate the presence of over 20 drugs, from bath salts to MDA to morphine. Since founding the Bunk Police in 2011, Auctor has tested hundreds of thousands of substances across dozens of festivals – and potentially saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
The Al Jazeera story is accompanied by a video interview that is peppered with scenes from the Bunk Police’s collaborative documentary, “What’s In My Baggie?.” Though the clips show a half-dozen tests result in the highlighter yellow of bath salts, the Al Jazeera interviewer also makes mention of the festival goers that saw the Bunk Police but had no interest in putting their drugs to the test. While Aucton can only help those who are interested in helping themselves, he wraps up his interview with the commitment to keep fighting the battle against dishonesty in drug selling: “This is the path I’ve chosen for myself,” he said. “This is my whole life.”
Watch the video interviews here, and learn more about the Bunk Police here.