Posted on July 14, 2013 at 6:21 AM
Monday, Jul 15 at 3:29 PM
A local non-profit is petitioning the promoters of the Paradiso Music Festival for change after a Western Washington man died from a drug overdose at the Gorge weeks ago.
More than a hundred others at the event were also hospitalized from overdoses related to symptoms from the party drug known as “Molly.”
Stay Safe Seattle, a local non-profit, goes into clubs and parties and tries to make drug use safer. But the festival’s promoter USC Events won’t allow the group to provide what it calls, “harm reduction.”
“People are doing things that are risky. The goal of harm reduction is to take the people that are going to engage in risky behavior and help them reduce the risk in what they’re doing,” said Stuart Williscroft, a volunteer.
But not all companies welcome the focus on drug education.
“If we are there educating people about drug use whether or not they’re using drugs at that particular venue that might indicate to law enforcement that the venue is being operated for the purpose of drug use and it will make them liable so they just want to avoid it all together,” said Nathan Messer, a spokesman for the national organization DanceSafe.
Even after what happened at Paradiso, the group says USC Events is taking that stance. Stay Safe Seattle hopes to change the companies mind by gathering enough signatures and support from the community.
“We don’t want anyone to get hurt in the first place but we have training if someone has an overdose,” said Williscroft.
Dax Johnson is part of the local electronic music scene; he welcomes the group’s efforts.
“They don’t really tell you not to (do drugs) but they give you information if you’re going to,” he said.
Volunteers also test drugs at certain events to make sure they aren’t laced with anything dangerous for partiers.
So far, the group has collected almost three hundred signatures for its petition. For more information, click here