Australian Capital Territory police have assured they won't "actively target" people getting their pills tested at Groovin the Moo this weekend. The music festival's Canberra leg will host Australia's first-ever pill testing trial, run by STA-SAFE.
The testing facility will be in the festival's "health precinct" alongside the paramedics and other health services.
"ACT Policing will not actively target the health precinct or their users in line with well-established protocols with ACT Health facilities," a spokesperson told VICE. "Whilst ACT Policing does not condone the use of illicit drugs, we do support harm minimisation strategies such as the decision to provide an accommodating environment to allow for pill testing at Groovin the Moo."
This does not mean police won't arrest people carrying drugs at the festival. However, they won't be standing out front of the testing tent with sniffer dogs.
"As a police force, we will continue to target and investigate the sale and supply of illicit drugs," the police spokesperson said.
While ACT police aren't known to use sniffer dogs at festivals, they often use drones to monitor crowds for drug deals. The ACT Government and the University of Canberra, where the festival will be held, have both come out in support of testing.
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