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Drug users flock to Easter parade March 29, 2005 news.com.au
EVERY weekend one St Kilda car park is transformed into a bustling, open-air supermarket for illegal drugs.
The Herald Sun spent the early hours of Easter Saturday in the car park, while a dance party was going on next door at The Palace, and found it teeming with almost every kind of illicit drug.
In the space of two hours the Herald Sun witnessed:
GIRLS on the Esplanade openly handling ecstasy tablets.
OCCUPANTS of a car puffing on two "crack pipes" - glass devices used for smoking crack cocaine or a pure form of amphetamine called crystal meth.
TWO men using a rolled-up banknote to snort lines of white powder - either amphetamines or cocaine.
Early on Easter Saturday we were approached by two men, in a group of four, who tried to sell us ecstasy tablets.
"You want flippers?" one of them said. "Come on, you guys, I'll sell you flippers at the best price ever - two for $25."
Three of the four then posed for a photograph.
Ravers say drug dealers operate from their vehicles in the car park and can be found there like clockwork every Friday night for The Palace's weekly dance party, Bass Station.
They say it is an underground Melbourne institution that is as reliable as the McDonald's that is only a block or two away.
Dealers sold the dangerous drug GHB directly from their cars to those going to the indoor rave, ravers said.
One described it as just like having a hot-dog stand outside a pub.
"The ones that stay outside are the dodgy crew," said Jack, a 22-year-old hardcore house fan.
"If you've passed out a couple of times (on drugs), the club is not going to let you back in. The car park is for anyone that's really dodgy or hardcore. But drugs are quite prominent - buying and selling - inside the club, too."
On Saturday morning, some in the full car park did burnouts or danced as their car stereos blasted out techno music. Others smoked marijuana joints as they queued for tickets at the front of The Palace.
Jack said the concrete lot, which holds more than 200 cars, was the best place in Melbourne to go when you were stuck for drugs.
One raver, who called himself "Goat", wore a singlet that said: "Go Home G Heads" - a reference to users of GHB, a drug that many in the rave scene shun.
"I just don't like G," he said. "When people are on it, they sometimes can't stand up at all. Watching people just blow out on it - it's not good."
In February last year - before the widely publicised admission to hospital of 10 people at the Two Tribes rave - paramedics reported treating eight people found near the St Kilda car park for suspected overdoses.
Three of those required life support.
The same month, police swooped on the Jacka Boulevard car park and arrested five people for drug trafficking and possession offences.
More than 1200 ravers attended the bigger than usual Good Friday version of The Palace's weekly house music night.
Dozens more were turned away at the door. At 3.30am on Easter Saturday, the car park was still full.
Regulars of Bass Station said they were rarely, if ever, subjected to pat-down searches on entering the dance club.
Imagine something like this in the states, if an article like this was written, there would be more cops there than you can shake a stick at very, very quickly.
-------------------- "What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"
"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer
Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.
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