Australian premier Mike Baird is calling for a total crackdown on festivals
Australian news headlines have experienced a significant spike in drug-related stories as of late, with reports of MDMA and other drug-related incidents, hospitalizations, and overdoses circulating around the country after nearly every large festival in the past year. Not two months after the death of a young pharmacist, Sylvia Choi, at Stereosonic, coverage of Sydney’s Field Day Festival centered around the near-death of a 23-year-old woman at the hands of an overdose, in addition to 180 arrests relating to drug offenses.
The purported increase in drug usage and danger surrounding illegal substances, as seemingly evidenced by the media, have led Mike Baird, Premier of New South Wales, to issue a call to action for Australian officials to perform a thorough review of festival security, “including the system for granting permits.” His reaction to these type of incidents at festival bears a strong parallel to events congruently occurring in Los Angeles, where the deaths of two minors at HARD Summer led the Los Angeles government to temporarily ban festivals happening in the region to make way for a “task force” dedicated towards limiting drug-related tragedies.
In imposing stricter regulation on who obtains permits and security measures, Baird hopes to drastically cut down crime and health-related issues at festivals. “Enough is enough…If new rules and procedures place additional burdens and costs on organisers, so be it — and we will also examine denying permits to organisers who have not done the right thing in the past,” he declared in a statement to a press. While Baird and the government prepare a stricter, prohibitionist approach to festival security, medical professionals and parents of the recently deceased are continuing to band together to promote an educational approach to drug issues at festivals, proposing pill testing stations as a way to reduce harm rather than fear.
Via: The Daily Telegraph