Drug checking services at NZ festivals to be legalised

News 01/12/2020

Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick confirmed on social media that drug checking services at festivals will be legalised in Parliament this week.

Swarbrick shared the news online alongside a quote from herself. 

'We all want our young people to come home safe. Festival drug checking will save lives this summer.'

Swarbrick added a thank you to those 'who've been sticking their necks out and risking criminal prosecution for the last few years - particularly Know Your Stuff NZ - to reduce harm.'

According to 1 News, Health Minister Andrew Little said the changes to be made today would protect pill testing services, such as the aforementioned Know Your Stuff, "against prosecution for short-term possession of illegal drugs while they test them".

"This gives welcome reassurance to those operating the services and festival organisers who host them that they will not be criminalised for their efforts to keep young New Zealanders safe this summer," Little said. 

"I make no apology for prioritising young New Zealanders’ safety this summer with this law change."

"This is not about condoning young New Zealanders’ use of drugs, we would prefer they didn’t. But the evidence is that when allowed to operate, drug checking services can significantly reduce drug harm.

"By changing the law to allow drug checking services to operate legally, we are removing a significant disincentive for young New Zealanders to access this potentially life-saving service."

Here's to a safer summer in NZ - check out Chloe's post sharing the news below.