MELBOURNE gay club Poof Doof has launched a “zero tolerance” campaign against ice and GHB use in the venue, promising lifetime bans for anyone caught with the drugs.
Issuing a statement via their Facebook page, Poof Doof said it was a response to seeing the drugs’ prevalence in the community.
“Far be it from us to tell you what to do — we’re not the fun police — but we are putting our foot down with regards to what goes on whilst you’re all in our care on Saturday nights.”
The lifetime bans for patrons found in possession of ice or GHB will apply across all venues using the Scantek security system, which includes a range of prominent Melbourne nightclubs and others around Australia.
The statement comes just weeks after a parliamentary report into ice use in Victoria raised problems with the drug in the LGBTI community, sparking heated discussion among gay men in the state.
Poof Doof spokesperson Susie Robinson told the Star Observer that Poof Doof had not had specific problems with ice or GHB, but organisers were aware of concerns within the community around the drugs.
“It’s not in response to a specific incident, we’re just stating a policy that’s been in place for some time,” she said.
“Everybody’s talking about it and no one’s really doing anything, so in some small part we hope to effectively raise awareness, but also let people know that there are consequences for their choices, not just for their health and their safety, but also for the future of their partying ways.”
Robinson argued it was rare for venues to be explicit about what is or is not acceptable in terms of drug use, instead relying on assumed standards of behaviour.
According to Scantek’s own statistics from 100 venues across the country using the system, 1435 people are currently banned under the system in Victoria, out of 4331 Australia-wide.
Drug use appears to be a much more common reason for bans in Victoria, where 19.8 per cent of bans are made on that basis, far above the 5.8 per cent of bans Australia-wide issued for drug use or possession.