Thanks to the careful and determined efforts from DanceSafe – Colorado has now allowed drug testing kits to be disassociated with paraphernalia. Colorado Governor Jared Polis has just signed a package of bills, with the bill in question being Senate Bill 19-227, which has a clause that amends previous laws defining “Testing equipment used, intended for use, or designed for use in identifying or in analyzing the strength, effectiveness, or purity of controlled substances” as paraphernalia.
On the topic, DanceSafe's Executive Director Mitchell Gomez has this to say:
“DanceSafe believes that most drug laws, up to and including laws banning the use or sale of drugs, do far more harm than good. This includes paraphernalia statutes, which criminalize drug consumption in a way that leads to an increase in the spread of communicable diseases by banning the possession of needles and often ban test kits, leading to misrepresentation and adulteration deaths. While we think the ideal situation would be to repeal all paraphernalia laws, and to dismantle prohibition as system, we recognize this will be a much longer fight. These incremental changes, such as the one in Colorado that removed test kits from the paraphernalia laws, are an important step in building a more rational drug policy. We were also incredibly pleased that there was no public opposition to this change, including from any Colorado law enforcement agency. This shows, once again, that most people understand and support common sense harm reduction measures when they are explained properly.”
Formed in 1998, harm reduction has been at the center of everything DanceSafe has done. The group has set up volunteer-based booths at various events around the country and has helped to educate and assist people to be more conscious and understanding regarding the use of drugs. in 2017, they were involved in helping with the development of a method for testing any substance for fentanyl, an additive which has led to a significant spike in deaths in recent years.
With the passing of this new legislation, it will be very possible that we will see DanceSafe at more and more events. This is a huge win for the electronic music community and for fighting against drug related deaths. For more information on DanceSafe see the links below: