Drug test kits are no longer considered paraphernalia in Colorado, thanks in part to DanceSafe
Lobbyists from DanceSafe, one of the most well-known hard reduction organizations stateside, have helped persuade Colorado legislators to amend current drug laws to allow for decriminalization around testing. On May 23, Colorado governor Jared Polis signed a new bill into law, Senate Bill 19-227, which removes drug test kits’ scheduling as paraphernalia. The new law was one of a fresh batch of legislation that state congress put forward in efforts to curb its ongoing opioid crisis.
The move is a revolutionary one for the state, and will make it easier for DanceSafe and other similar organizations to partner with local businesses to reduce harm from contaminated substances. One huge reason why drug testing is widely avoided is due to the legal repercussions if caught with such kits and given a tougher sentencing in court. Harm reduction has been proven to be an effective supplement to efforts against drug-fueled crises, as proven in countries like the Netherlands and Portugal. While it’s difficult to stop people from using drugs, organizations like DanceSafe are able to pinpoint even more lethal agents these drugs are cut with while additionally helping people get an idea of their limits.
In EDM.com‘s report, DanceSafe representative Mitchell Gomez stated,
“DanceSafe believes that most drug laws, up to and including laws banning the use or sale of drugs, do far more harm than good. This includes paraphernalia statutes, which criminalize drug consumption in a way that leads to an increase in the spread of communicable diseases by banning the possession of needles and often ban test kits, leading to misrepresentation and adulteration deaths. While we think the ideal situation would be to repeal all paraphernalia laws, and to dismantle prohibition as system, we recognize this will be a much longer fight. These incremental changes, such as the one in Colorado that removed test kits from the paraphernalia laws, are an important step in building a more rational drug policy. We were also incredibly pleased that there was no public opposition to this change, including from any Colorado law enforcement agency. This shows, once again, that most people understand and support common sense harm reduction measures when they are explained properly.”
Colorado is positioning itself as a leader in progressive lawmaking within the states. Denver became the first city to decriminalize magic mushrooms, while the state was among the first to fully legalize marijuana. They join New Mexico in similar aggressive action taken to curb waves of addiction sweeping the nation.