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Music News

Festival King Explains Why Drug Testing is Important

Festival King Explains Why Drug Testing is Important
This news story could have been called ‘Reading and Leeds haven’t got government clearance for drug testing yet’, but there’s a point in this story that’s even more important.
 
So, to start at the beginning, Reading and Leeds boss Melvin Benn wants drug testing at the festival, and that’s a chance for people to take their drugs, get them looked at, and make sure what they’re taking is safe. The Daily Mail has already got a boner over that, but here’s Benn explaining “Do I want people taking illegal drugs? Of course I don’t. Am I condoning it? No of course I’m not. But testing is important.”
 
However, to do this the festival needs a special licence from the Home Office, and this is why: “The people that are doing the drugs testing have to have a license from the Home Office to be in possession of controlled drugs, otherwise they are in possession of illegal drugs. We haven’t got that permission yet. When we get that permission, we can announce that it’ll happen at Reading and Leeds, but until I get that permission I can’t say it will.”
 
We hope they get this sorted, and here is Benn with the killer quote why: “Anecdotally the evidence coming out of Holland is that, in the places that have this testing there hasn’t been a death associated with MDMA since the testing came in. That to me is sufficient reason to go forward.”
 
No deaths at tested sites? Essential.

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