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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2020 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 20 August 2020) . . Page.. 2121 ..


concoctions. It is very important that those that continue to try and undermine pill testing stop and reflect that they are potentially causing harm by continuing to resist this change.

It is important to recognise that when we talk about a music festival and consider some of the more common circumstances in which young people—it is overwhelmingly young people—use these substances, they have already made the decision that they want to consume drugs. They have already got money out of the ATM. They have already lined up a text message to someone they know that can get their hands on some drugs. They have made a decision to consume drugs. As legislators, we can do something to try and put one last check in before that person consumes that substance, and that can be pill testing. We have a responsibility to introduce that in as many instances as is reasonable.

In closing. I thank all the members that have contributed to this debate. It has been a sensible debate and I think it is very revealing of where this Assembly has moved to. That all three parties could talk in such a way about harm minimisation and decriminalisation of these illicit substances is very telling about the future of ACT politics. That gives me some hope.

When you think about decriminalisation and those in the community who say this is a radical proposition, it is not. If you look at the approval rating for decriminalising ecstasy you will see it has a high level of support from the Labor Party and the Liberal Party combined. This is not radical; this is common sense and the community supports it. That is why I am so encouraged today that we have all come together to support this motion.

Many people in the community will attack members in this place that have raised this as an issue and have spoken in favour of this. I have no doubt that people will seek to use this as political ammunition in the coming weeks. But this is not a minor or fringe issue: 11.2 per cent of us have used ecstasy in our lifetime—they are all criminals; nine per cent of us have used cocaine—they are criminals; and 6.3 per cent of us have used meth or an amphetamine—they are all criminals. It is time that our laws reflect our values, which is why I support the decriminalisation of these substances and Canberra taking the next sensible step.

Question put:

That the amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 13

Noes 10

Mr Barr

Ms Orr

Miss C Burch

Mr Milligan

Ms Berry

Mr Pettersson

Mrs Dunne

Mr Parton

Ms J Burch

Mr Ramsay

Mr Hanson

Mr Wall

Ms Cheyne

Mr Rattenbury

Mrs Jones

Mr Gentleman

Mr Steel

Mrs Kikkert

Mr Gupta

Ms Stephen-Smith

Ms Lawder

Ms Le Couteur

Ms Lee


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