Sunday, December 07, 2008

Saving Lives Or Wasting Your Money?

Police and drug dogs were out in force at the HomeBake Festival. They made plenty of arrests, mostly drug-related. Eight people were done up for supplying drugs (that is, possessing a quantity of drugs deemed beyond personal use), and 76 were charged for possession.

The entire police operation on the day cost beyond $100,000 and yielded this not so impressive haul :

...police detected 78 grams of cannabis (less than three ounces), 256 ecstasy tablets and 18 grams of white powder (consisting of cocaine and speed) at the event.

I'll be generous in calculating the total street sale value of that one day haul - $30,000 max.

Obviously there were a hell of a lot more people on 'prohibited' drugs at HomeBake than those arrested. Those caught carrying drugs into HomeBake were dealers, or idiots.

As regular drug-using festival goers already know, you do your shit before you walk through the gates and come face to face with drug dogs. And, as regular drug-using festival goers already know, there are any number of ways to consume cannabis and Es and speed well before you reach the cop-crowded gates of a music festival, and still be high as all fuck for most of the day, and well into the evening. You can cook your cannabis into cookies, you can make toffee and dip your Es in the cooling toffee a couple of times (coating the E in shells of sugar delays the final dissolving of the pill), and you can sprinkle your speed into a cigarette rolling paper, 'bombing' as it used to be called, and then wrap the small wad in a few more layers of cigarette papers (the papers take a while to dissolve in your stomach, but this is a good way to give yourself ulcers if you do it too often).

Most cops will tell you the main reason there is so much LESS VIOLENCE at music festivals these days is because more people do Es and pot than get stuck into the booze. Music festivals in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s were regular bloodbaths, mostly because the alcohol flowed so freely.

However, policing music festivals is a great day out for most cops, surrounded by happy kids and great music, soaking up the sun. It's a fuck of a lot better than responding to domestic violence calls in St Clair or Rose Bay. But many cops hate the fact they have to bust kids for carrying cannabis, and that some of these kids they bust will wind up with criminal records.

However, the Top Cops are warning there will be no easing up of heavy policing of music festivals :

Police said the results served as a warning to those planning to take or supply drugs at forthcoming events this summer.

"Police will be present at all similar upcoming events, and those people found supplying and possessing prohibited drugs, along with any anti-social behaviour, will be arrested and charged," they said in a statement.

Naturally, this level of hardcore drug-policing at music festivals will also apply to Opera In The Park as well...right?