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Drug testing kits should be part of all festivals: BC's top doctor

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On-site testing of drugs should be standard at festivals: BC doctor

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The province’s chief medical health officer says on-site testing of drugs to make sure they aren’t laced with anything should be happening at BC festivals.

Dr. Perry Kendall says testing illicit drugs would be a step in the right direction but it’s not perfect at this point.

“It will tell you whether a particular compound is present or not. It won’t tell you that other compounds aren’t present and it won’t tell you for example purity or dosage.”

He says it would be helpful in looking for fentanyl laced drugs. Fentanyl has recently been linked to several overdoses in the province.

The obvious questions may be around the fact that most of these drugs are in fact illegal. “A substantial portion of the population do use drugs and are going to go on using drugs and I think that from a pragmatic, humane and ethical perspective we should try and mitigate the dangers for those individuals.”

The comments come after a popular Nova Scotia festival had decided to distribute free drug-testing kits, but it has now gone back on that because its insurance company pulled coverage.

“You need to work through some of these legal aspects and that’s part of the legal aspects that you need to work though.”

So far no BC festivals have announced plans to test drugs on-site.