The Home Affairs Committee recently made a statement to the House of Commons for the implementation of safe drug-testing facilities at festivals.
Although UK festival season is slowly coming to an end, the discussion of safe experiences is still a hot topic. Just recently the UK’s Home Affairs Committee issued a new statement to the government regarding the misuse of drugs at large-scale events.
The Home Affairs Committee have requested for The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to be re-evaluated, with the addition of anonymous drug-testing facilities at music festivals to be discussed as a new alternative to reduce the death rates at festivals.
It comes as no surprise that every year there is an incredibly large number of drugs taken onto festival grounds. Although you can find sniffer dogs and thorough pat-down checks at most large-scale events, these procedures are nonetheless still mere barriers for festival goers to smuggle in drugs.
The authoritative ‘no-drug policy’ has proven to be an ineffective tactic for a number of years now. With this approach, it’s more often than not that people have found alternate (and sometimes more dangerous) ways to smuggle drugs into event spaces. Having on-site drug-testing facilities at festivals should prevent fatal overdoses, death rates and reduce the footfall and exchange of illegal substances on-site.
In the report they wrote: “Safe consumption facilities, where people who use drugs may do so in safe, secure surroundings, may also reduce harm and deaths, but the status of such facilities is uncertain because of the restrictive regime in place under the 1971 Act.”
The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is over 50 years old and hasn’t had a glance over since it was first implemented. The Home Affairs Committee has ushered that now is the time to make some well-overdue changes. A case that was “originally and primarily based on criminal justice principles” is now being urged to concentrate primarily on the public’s health.
Providing safe drug-using facilities at festivals over an authoritative abstinence-only approach is destined to have a better outcome with the public and should see a reduced number of criminal activity and death rates.
The government has officially two months to respond to this request.
For more information, you can read the full report here.