Sandra Kanck, the sole South Australia Democrat in the state parliament, is at it again. The outspoken Kanck, who in May told the state parliament "ecstasy is not a dangerous drug," attended a rave Saturday night and told ABC Radio she felt safer there than at a hotel bar. Kanck said she attended the rave as part of educating herself during Australia's current debate on drugs and urged other MPs to do the same.
Police meanwhile arrested four people and "seized about 500 drug deals," as they put it, scoring 300 ecstasy tablets, as well as amphetamines, LSD, and marijuana. According to Adelaide Police Superintendent Paul Schramm, raves are a common environment "for predators peddling their cocktail of drugs" to young people.
But Kanck said the rave, the Winter Enchanted rave at the Night Train theatre in Adelaide's Light Square, was "a far better environment" than a hotel bar. "These people using ecstasy and whatever they're using, they are not aggressive, they're not shouting, they're not fighting, you don't get people puking all over the place, it's a far, far better environment," Kanck said. "If I had a choice between being at a rave party and a hotel bar, I'd go to the rave party every time."
Kanck said Tuesday that the government should introduce a pill-testing program to alert users to impure tablets, but again insisted she felt safer at a rave than at an event where alcohol was being guzzled. "If I were in a venue where there were 3,000 people drinking alcohol and in a venue where there were 3,000 people taking ecstasy, I believe I would be safer in the venue where people were taking ecstasy," she said. "I believe they [raves] would be safe for the majority of people."
Kanck's views on raves and ecstasy aren't winning her many friends among the political class. The leader of the state Democrats, Richard Pascoe, with whom Kanck already has a strained relationship, told the Adelaide Advertiser he was "lost for words." A spokesman for state Premier Mike Rann added that he would not be attending a rave "any time soon," while Health Minister John Hill suggested MPs visit hospital emergency rooms and mental wards if they wanted to educate themselves about drugs.