“We must not give youngsters false assurances that illegal drugs are safe”

Clwyd West Assembly Member Darren Millar has spoken out against the testing of illegal drugs at nightclubs and festivals claiming that it will give youngsters false assurances that illegal substances are safe.

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Wales Live last week, Darren said that testing is not the best way to safeguard young people from the dangers of illegal drugs and that politicians and police forces should be focussing on educating young people more about the risks of taking such substances.

He said:  

“The best way to protect people’s health is to discourage the use of illegal drugs in their entirety.  These drug testing facilities could potentially provide false assurances to people about the safety of illegal drugs and give the impression that their use is being legitimised, and that message alongside the message that drugs are dangerous seem to be rather incompatible.

“We should be encouraging the police to enforce the law not promoting them effectively legitimising people’s use of illegal substances.

“The problem is how does anyone know that the next pill from the same supplier as the pill that passed the test is as safe as the previous pill? – the reality is they don’t.

“I hear arguments very frequently that because we still have a problem with drug use we should therefore legitimise that drug use and legalise it. But the reality is that knife crime is a problem but we don’t hear people making arguments to legalise knife crime. The same logic applies to this.   

“The Police should be there to uphold and enforce the law. Their priority should not necessarily be public health as there are other agencies that are there to support and promote people’s public health.

“It is important that politicians and police forces do not give false assurances that that illegal drugs are safe.”