A hard line or drugs testing? MPs divided over ADE drug deaths

Politicians are calling for action following the death of three people in what is thought to be drug related incidents at this year’s Amsterdam Dance Event.

D66 parliamentarian Vera Bergkamp on Tuesday said the hard line being urged by some parties is unrealistic. ‘People use drugs at festivals so we need to present a realistic picture with much more emphasis on prevention and health,’ she told Radio 1 news.

Bergkamp wants a return to the 1990s when people were able to test their ectasy pills at dance parties to make sure they were not toxic.


But VVD MPs oppose testing programmes. ‘It is unrealistic to say pills are part of this sort of party,’ MP Arno Rutte said. ‘If you do that, you are removing the responsibility of the individual and normalising drugs.’

Clubs should be far more proactive in stamping out illegal drugs use, he said. ‘I have read about how obviously it is being done. I don’t think this is acceptable,’ he is quoted as saying by broadcaster Nos.

Two of the weekend’s drug victims – a 41-year-old woman and a 33-year-old man – had visited a party at Club Lite. The other death, that of a 21-year-old man, took place after a party at the Westergasfabriek.

The event’s organisers said on Tuesday these are the first deaths associated with the five-day dance festival, which attracts 350,000 visitors from all over the world.

As well as three drugs related deaths, a 41-year-old man, said to be a known dance producer, died at the weekend.

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