“Prohibition,” said Al Capone, “has made nothin’ but trouble.”
It’s a truism for which present Australian drug policy seems determined to supply evidence to maintain.
This week it was reported that Alex Ross-King, 19 years old, “took an unusually high amount of MDMA before arriving (at a music festival) because she was afraid of being caught with the drugs by police”.
She died a few hours later, of a drug-related cardiac arrest.
Her death is one of six the New South Wales coroner is investigating this week within the context of a recent “substantial increase in drug related harms associated with a small number of music festivals”. In all six cases, the victims had consumed more than one tablet of MDMA. In all six, MDMA was the primary cause of death.
The aim of the inquest is to determine ways that these harms may be prevented. “Pill testing” at festivals