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New Zealand Legalises Recreational Drug Testing

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From 6th December 2021 New Zealand will become the first country too legalise the testing of recreational drugs. This will allow users to test their substances at music festivals without risk of repercussions. This will help provide government advisory boards with vital information regarding current street drugs.

According to data published in a report in February 2021, 68 percent of the pilot participants modified their behaviour as a result of using the service, and 87 percent stated they gained a greater understanding of the dangers of drug use after speaking with the persons who provided it.

Last month New Zealand’s government also announced that they would be funding $800,000 NZD towards the training of drug checkers and to coordinate drug safety services. Sarah Helm, executive director of the NZ Drug Foundation, told VICE World News: “It’s really significant and a moment to celebrate…This will prevent harm and save lives. Drug checking is a hugely effective harm reduction tool as it gives people accurate information to make safer decisions. We’d now like to see services expand to reach more people.”

Drug researchers in the UK believe that a similar approach should be adopted here whereby they outwardly state that there is no legal risk of harm by testing.