Contents page 1 — “We award a seal of quality for careless use of drugs” page 2 — “Where drug checking is already a reality, does not rise to the consumer” To a page
read This Interview is part of the center of gravity to drugs in everyday life. TIME has published ONLINE results of the Global Drug Survey, the world’s biggest drug survey of around 35,000 readers participated.
Official Bodies to test psychoactive substances on the black market chemically and the results are anonymously reported back: That’s the idea behind the so-called drug checking. A new Berlin-based project wants to make this possible at the country level. The offer is intended to protect Users – in front of overdosed pills and possible contamination. The Plan is controversial. Some fear that legal drug checking could suggest a false sense of security and thus to the consumer to convince. The legal feasibility is as yet unclear. Of the pharmacist and activist Tibor Harrach is still convinced of the idea.
TIME ONLINE: Mr. Harrach, for more than twenty years, a other drug policy. Why?
Tibor Harrach: In the nineties I was eager party-goers. The drug policy was much more restrictive: What you need to know about deterrence, and total abstinence was frowned upon. I wanted to change that. Together with other scene-goers, students, club operators and DJs I joined in the summer of 1995, the scene project Eve & Rave. Our first success was a brochure on low-risk consumption, which we distributed in the Berlin Clubs. In the fact test, for example, then: once half an Ecstasy tablet to take instead of a whole – and drink enough water. Such information to the Safer Use are widely used today. However, at the time, it caused a big hullabaloo. The youth office in Offenbach, requested even, to index the Flyer without success.
Tibor Harrach works as a pharmacist for an official drug checking offer. With the party project, Eve & Rave, he started already in the nineties a first attempt – supported by the Institute for legal medicine of the Charité. When the police raided the laboratories, took the idea to an abrupt end. Now the Berlin Senate is supporting a new project that supports Harrach as a pharmaceutical coordinator. In addition, he served ten years as a spokesman for the national Association of drug policy of the Alliance 90/The Greens in Berlin. © private
TIME ONLINE: How did the idea of drug checking offer?
Harrach: although We were able to provide information on how the substances act. But what was really in powders and pills, which circulated in the scene of course, you might not know. Instead, the wildest rumors around: rat poison should be in there, strychnine, Heroin. So the club went in search of a laboratory that was willing to samples to evaluate. Find we were at the Institute for legal medicine of the Charité, at the time, yet alone the Humboldt-University under. Approaching the topic with scientific curiosity. In what waters they went, was not probably very clear.
TIME ONLINE: How was the Service?
Harrach: interested parties could submit their pills with us anonymously or one chicken – along with a code word. Those who had money, put the $ 70 that the analysis cost. We passed the samples to the forensic medicine. The provided a high-quality analysis: What ingredients are in it, what are the impurities? And how much of it is in there? When we received the sample on Monday or Tuesday, as was the result, mostly on Friday – just in time for the weekend parties so. The results we summarized in a list and distributed it in the Clubs. The poison control center in North Rhine-Westphalia, published the results of even on the Internet. At the time, it was still an absolute novelty. By the way, we found the analyses to considerably less contamination than expected. The biggest Problem was the tablets, the fluctuating dosage of Ecstasy. A pill containing especially a lot of MDMA or unexpected ingredients – such as Acetaminophen or Crystal Meth, from we gave additional warnings. Overall, we were in the time of about 200 samples to analyze.
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TIME ONLINE: What were the reactions to the new deal?
Harrach: At the party guests, the information was highly sought after. Also, the Clubs themselves were good to talk to us. And there was a large media echo. Even the image reported to us. But with the increasing awareness of the law enforcement authorities were aware of us. In July 1996, the police raided the club rooms of Eve & Rave, three days after the Love Parade. However, they could find no suspicious substances. Later, they searched even the laboratory of the forensic Institute of Charité. That was a strong piece. After all, it was a renowned institution, which was also on behalf of the state. Against three members of the Association Eve & Rave, the public Prosecutor’s office initiated criminal proceedings.
TIME ONLINE: What were you charged with?
Harrach: You accused them of, without proper authorization, narcotic possessed. In the process, the experts in Criminal law, Cornelius Nestler, and Felix Herzog, a highly qualified defence of Scripture wrote, accompanied us – after all, the method had a high symbolic value. What did the Messenger of Eve & Rave, argument, were not a possession within the meaning of the narcotics law. Finally, they had taken the substances only, and to the laboratory of the Charité delivered. The district court of Tiergarten and the district court of Berlin saw the apparently similar: they had no charge to it.