A FORMER Ballarat radio producer will host a drug law reform panel at Rainbow Serpent this weekend in an event he says is not incongruous with organisers’ strong anti-drug message.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
Nick Wallis, former Power FM broadcaster and 3BA producer, will host a panel on Sunday looking at drug legislation and policing and why prohibition has failed.
The panel discussion will feature a number of leading academics working in drug law reform. It will be followed by activists including Adriana Buccianti, who is leading a campaign for police-interference-free pill testing at festivals like Rainbow Serpent following the death of her son Daniel at the festival in 2012.
Rainbow Serpent has previously issued a press release supporting change in how police and government approached recreational drug use, and this week told The Courier it strongly discouraged patrons taking drugs at the festival.
“We all come from a very similar community. Rainbow Serpent is one expression of that community but it happening all throughout the year. We all want to look after each other and we want to build something for that community,” Mr Wallis said.
Mr Wallis said recreational drug-taking was ingrained in the alternative scene just as much as alcohol was ingrained in the football scene. He said the issue was to deal with risks rather than simply a zero-tolerance approach.
He said prohibition had failed as a way of dealing with the potential risks of drug-taking, which is why the panel would examine other options like interference-free testing at festivals, decriminalisation, legalisation of medicinal cannabis, and examples from other countries.
Mr Wallis said the concept behind Mrs Buccianti’s petition was valuable in dealing with risks at alternative gatherings.
“A a mother to someone who has been lost, she doesn’t want to see those sorts of avoidable situations happening,” he said.
“A lot of drug deaths that have been occurring lately are avoidable, not all. A lot of the risks can be avoided if you implement the kinds of strategies and knowledge to avoid those situations.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.