Drug-checking machine offered to B.C. music festivals as summer season approaches

published on May 23, 2018 by Liza Yuzda and Simon Little | CKNW in Global News

With music festival season around the corner, the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) is hoping events will step up drug testing.

Dr. Kenneth Tupper says the Shambhala Festival in the Kootenays is the first to have signed up to have a Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR) on site.

It’s the province’s most specialized public drug-testing machine, first used in B.C. — and Canada — in November.

The City of Vancouver partnered with the BCCSU to buy the FTIR machine last year for a pilot project, which has been used to check drugs at a pair of supervised consumption sites on the Downtown Eastside.

“We can provide higher quality drug checking than what they’ve done in the past,” Tupper said.

“They have provided some limited — what’s called colourimetric testing. But we’re going to bring the FTIR spectrometer to that festival this summer.”

View the full article