UK Festivals Are Allowing People To Test Their Cocaine And Ecstasy Without Being Arrested

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Summer is all about enjoying the amazing weather, hanging out with your mates in beer gardens, and hitting various festivals as you cut loose for the weekend.

For many people though, that will include taking drugs, and unfortunately there has been a numbed of drug-related deaths at UK festivals over the past few years.

But now, in a bid to reduce the amount of drug related fatalities, a controversial scheme by the charity The Loop will allow people to test the purity of their cocaine and ecstasy at an on-site lab without the fear of being arrested. They aim to keep people safe and protected against harmful substances whilst warning users of the dangers of drugs mixed with other harmful chemicals.

The Loop team has already set up tents at Parklife and Secret Garden Party this year, and have set up another at Kendal Calling in Cumbria over this weekend.

Professor Fiona Measham, director of The Loop, said:

“We accept that some people will get drugs on site and some people will be planning to take them so what we’re doing is trying to address any potential health problems.

This is a focus on public health rather than on criminal justice.’

She revealed that from the samples people have given them so far, the drugs have been found to contain insecticide, malaria medication and even concrete.

She also said that about one in five users ask the charity to dispose of the drugs after they have been tested.

Local police forces – including the West Yorkshire Police – have come out in support of the scheme:

“We can never condone the use of illegal drugs, but we recognize that some people will continue to take them and we need to adapt our approach in the interests of public safety,” said Assistant Chief Constable Andy Battle in May.

The Loop has, however, come under criticism from anti-drug activists for promoting drug use and ‘normalising’ it.

David Raynes, of the National Drug Prevention Alliance, said:

“This normalises drug taking. Some people go to festivals for the first time and take drugs for the first time.

The drugs they take will not be drugs that have been tested because during the testing process the drugs get destroyed so there will be other drugs available to them.

Testing doesn’t make the drugs that people might take at a festival safe.”

Wherever you stand on the subject, remember to be careful at festivals this summer and don’t take anything you’re suspicious of.

Do you think it’s a good idea? Let us know in the comments below!

Images via Twitter/iStock

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