Saying they are fed up with problems caused by patrons using GHB and crystal meth, the popular Melbourne gay nightclub Poof Doof has announced a lifetime ban for any customer caught using those substances. These bans will be shared with more than 100 nightclubs across Australia, who jointly use a system called Scantek to record the identities of problem customers.
It’s the first time a city club has made a public stance on crystal methamphetamine, following moves at mainstream venues almost two years ago to place life bans on punters caught partying on the drug GHB. “There is a sadness and exhaustion attached to these drugs – everyone seems to know someone who has been directly affected,” Poof Doof organiser Anthony Hocking said. “An individual who has been given a lifetime ban at one venue, will be flagged by all venues,” he said. Melbourne clubs have been using the technology since 2006 and there are now 33 Victorian venues on Scantek. There are almost 4500 active bans across the country and nearly 1500 in Victoria with men accounting for 84 per cent of bans. Drug use or possession accounts for about 20 per cent of prohibitions, while threatening or violent behaviour is responsible for 43 per cent. Venues have used the system for years, but it is rare for Melbourne club owners, wary of being cast as having a drug problem, to go public and threaten drug users with lifetime bans. The last time was more than a year ago.
Poof Doof posted a statement on Facebook:
After seeing how these horrific drugs have affected our community, Poof Doof has decided to take action. 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. Any doofer caught with these substances inside Poof Doof will be banned for life via the Scantek security system. This means that individual will also be banned for life at all other Scantek venues. Our venue staff and security will be assisting us to identify, eject and ban those individuals who have not heeded our warning. Make no mistake: we are serious. And the lifetime bans will be irreversible. Poof Doof says no.
Notably, the anti-drug campaign makes no mention of ecstasy or its current incarnation, molly. Doof, by the way, is Australian slang for a rave party.