Ever heard of DanceSafe? They are a public health organization promoting health and safety within the nightlife and electronic dance music community. They strive to make our world a safer place and recently they have made Colorado a better place. Under their state law, drug testing kits used to be considered drug paraphernalia, but now they are not.
Colorado Governor, Jared Polis, signed a few bills on Thursday, May 23rd in attempt to curb the opioid epidemic. Senate Bill 19-227 is a new law focused on harm reduction and will likely save lives.
Section 8 of Colorado SB19-227 removes from the definition of “drug paraphernalia,” “equipment, products, and materials used in testing or analyzing a controlled substance,” making reagent test kits, fentanyl testing strips and analytical laboratory testing equipment legal in the state.
Since the late 90s, DanceSafe cultivated, promoted, and educated for safe rave culture. While their latest accomplishment has improved one state, they’re aiming for this law to overturn against all test kits in the US by 2021.
DanceSafe Executive Director, Mitchell Gomez, believes that most drug laws do more harm than good. Banning the use or sales of drugs will only bring it about more. Paraphernalia statutes criminalize drug consumption through those bans of needles and test kits. In turn, that leads to the spread of communicable diseases.
It is going to be a long fight for change, but is incremental. The goal is a more rational drug policy. With no opposition from Colorado on the new law, the future seems promising for this. When explained properly, it is easy to understand and support these harm reduction measures.
Being safe and preventive in these kinds of things will make our future a better place to live. The number of deaths at festivals has been quite low, so let’s keep that up. Remind yourselves that anything can happen, and your safety is most important.