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Mother of Deceased Festival Attendee Leads Pill Testing Campaign In Australia

Hoping to get legislators to authorize government approved pill tests at festivals

by Michael Scott Barron
Dec 5 2015, 10:35pm

Australian EDM festivals are advocating for the authorization of legal pill tests, Melbourne's The Age reports, to ensure that what is being ingested is pure. But leading the charge isn't an organizer, it's a woman named Adriana Buccianti, whose son, Daniel died at Rainbow Serpent Festival in 2012. Buccianti started a petition to authorize government approved pill testing services on change.org that has grown to include over 30,000 signatures.

But police have been critical of the service, paradoxically claiming that festival goers "take a gamble" by ingesting Ecstasy, while critics note that it wouldn't be as much of a gamble if drugs could be tested. Meanwhile festival goers continue to perish, including most recently a pharmacist named Susan Choi at last week's Stereosonic Festlival. Buccianni hopes to force legislators into a vote in time for Melbourne's Rainbow Serpent Festival, which kicks off in January. "The 'pill-testing' services tell people exactly what substance they would be about to take – and it's helping stop deaths," Adrianna Buccianti said. "The Queensland Government are considering it, but too many kids are dying and it's not yet policy."

As previously reported by CNN, MDMA is part and parcel of EDM Festival culture, but its production and sale is rife with bunk products. Pill testing has become a growing priority for festival organizers, the emergence of clandestine testing operations proliferate alongside the globally growing EDM movement. Currently, only a handful of countries, including the UK, the Netherlands, and Canada, have government support for pill testing, Australia and the United States do not. Los Angeles has even considered a ban on EDM festivals and raves.