Published on October 28, 2013 | by Sophie Smallshaw

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The Warehouse Project death: A call for legislation?

ALN deputy interactive editor, Sophie Smallshaw [Emanuele Giovagnoli]

The popular Manchester-based club night, The Warehouse Project (WHP), is to become the first known venue to try out a new drug-testing scheme on ticket holders after a bad batch of drugs left 15 revellers ill and a 30-year-old man dead.

Organisers hope to raise caution through social media by publishing the results of on-site testing of seized or surrendered drugs; by examining the quality minutes after being confiscated, the club can alert revellers through Twitter about the dangers of tainted drugs, if any are found.

Sacha Lord-Marchionne, director of WHP, had previously called upon the government to consider legislation allowing drugs to be tested to ensure they are safe before use. At a press conference, Lord-Machionne stressed that the venue has a “zero-tolerance” attitude to illegal drug use, but also pointed out that customers would only go elsewhere if not attending WHP.

While the current trial of testing confiscated drugs has the backing of the Home Office, calls for testing drugs before use have been dismissed by Home Secretary Theresa May, who told the Manchester Evening News: “If somebody has purchased something that the state has deemed illegal, it’s not then for the state to go and test it for you. Our job is to make sure people come off drugs.”

Named best club in the UK by dance magazine Mixmag in 2011, The Warehouse Project has fast become a student favourite over the years. With 2013 shaping up to be another successful year – their calendar includes an array of acclaimed artists such as The Prodigy and Disclosure – the club shows no signs of slowing down or losing fans.

Drug use is common in the clubbing scene and while the dangers are there, they are often misunderstood. The new scheme could become the initiative that is needed to ensure that young people don’t fall victim to recreational drug use.

Greater Manchester Police and non-profit charity The Loop have also teamed up with WHP to educate the public about illegal drugs, and have issued the following tips through the charity’s Tumblr for all future visitors:

1. Don’t mix drink and drugs; it increases risks such as overheating and dehydration.

2. Just because you know your dealer, it doesn’t mean your dealer knows what’s in your drugs.

3. Ecstasy pills and MDMA crystal may contain MDMA (the active ingredient). However, they may also contain other substances of concern, including PMA and methylone.

 

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