The debate on how law enforcement officials should tackle the proliferation of illegal stimulants has stepped up following a second death at Australia’s Stereosonic festival.
A 19-year-old man, identified as Stefan Woodward, died in hospital after attending the Adelaide leg of Stereosonic on Saturday, where temperatures topped 40 degrees celsius. Woodward’s death occurred just a week after a 25-year-old woman, Sylvia Choi, died after the Sydney leg of the festival. Both incidents were blamed on ecstasy, or MDMA.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon has called for a coronial inquest into Woodward’s death. “We need to ask questions of what the police were doing,” Xenophon said. “Thirty-five pills were confiscated when it appears that this concert was awash with pills. Using these pills seems to be a chemical form of Russian roulette. The other issue is what duty of care do the organisers of this event have.”
Discussions surrounding the implementation of pill testing at Australian festivals have escalated along with calls for police to ditch controversial sniffer dog operations.
Matt Noffs, CEO of the Noffs Foundation, which works alongside young people with drug and alcohol problems, is an advocate for drug harm minimisation. He tweeted, “Another festival death. This is becoming ridiculous. We can start saving lives today. It’s #timetotest.”
This year’s Stereosonic festival features MK, Claude VonStroke, Diplo and Major Lazer. Past performers include Wiley, Jeff Mills, Hudson Mohawke, Ricardo Villalobos and Nina Kraviz. [via Billboard]