Perspective: with Heather du Plessis-Allan - Drug testing a no-brainer

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Monday, 7 October 2019, 4:47PM

There are no two ways about it.

We have got to start allowing drug testing at festivals and events like the one we had this past weekend at Mt Stadium.

We had kids climbing the tent, we had three admitted to hospital in a critical condition apparently after taking recreational drugs.

We don’t know what actually went wrong. Were the drugs stronger than anyone thought? 

Did they actually contain what they were supposed to? We don’t know any of that because no one tested what was in the pockets of the kids at that party.

The event organiser considered allowing testing, but didn’t because it’s a legal grey area.

This is the trouble festival organisers keep running into.

They want to look after the kids attending the thing.

But the drugs are illegal which makes testing very tricky legally we’ve been talking about this for years now and we got this close to saying yes to drug testing.

Police Minister Stuart Nash was brave enough to do it, credit for him for that.But then just over a week ago, New Zealand First said no.


According to MP Darroch Ball because it “absolves all of those young people from taking personal responsibility for their decisions".Come on, since when have kids taken personal responsibly? They’re kids.

We disobeyed our parents and these kids are going to too.

My parents said don’t drive on a restricted licence after 10pm, so I drove on a restricted licence after 10pm.

Tell kids not to take drugs and thinking that’s going to stop them is a fallacy. It’s just not going to happen.

It doesn’t make them bad kids - it makes them very normal. They’re going to do it, we know they’re going to do it, shouldn’t we try to keep them safe?

Ultimately that’s your choice - to keep kids safer or not.

It’s a no brainer.

We have to allow drug testing.

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