Dunne delivers 'knockout blow' to legal highs
Mon, 16 Jul 2012 10:52a.m.
By Lloyd Burr
The Government has revealed its party pill crack-down plan which requires manufacturers to prove they are safe before they can be sold.
The psychoactive substances drug legislation, which Cabinet has agreed to, will be introduced to Parliament later this year and in force by mid-2013.
It will require manufacturers and distributors of party pills and legal highs to prove they are safe before they can go on sale.
Currently, it is up to the Government to ban harmful chemicals in the products which often occurs after they have been made available for purchase.
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says the Government is following through with its promise to reverse the onus of proof with party pills.
“If [producers] cannot prove that a product is safe, then it is not going anywhere near the marketplace,” says Mr Dunne.
“The new law means the game of ‘catch up’ with the legal highs industry will be over once and for all.”
He says companies will need to conduct toxicology tests, clinical trials and may need to specify a minimum purchase age. Rules on where they can be sold may also be implemented.
Once manufacturers have tested the products, the will have to be approved by a regulator set up in the Ministry of Health which will have to deem them safe.
“It will be akin to approving new medicines coming into New Zealand and they will also need to apply to MedSafe - there are a number of hurdles there,” he says.
However, Mr Dunne could not give definitions of what ‘safe’ or ‘harmful’ meant, only saying products would pass if they could be “reasonably held as safe”.
He says the new measures had a yearly cost of $1-2 million which would be paid for by the industry and taxing the products is yet to be considered.
Last year, Mr Dunne put in place a temporary notice in the Misuse of Drugs Act which saw 28 chemicals banned and resulted in 50 products coming off the shelves.
That temporary law will be extended until the new legislation comes into effect.
Mr Dunne says there has been a 75 percent drop in emergency calls relating to synthetic cannabis products since the temporary law was introduced.
He says he would personally like to see party pills disappear altogether.
“We are winning the battle and we are about to deliver the knockout blow with this legislation,” he says.
Drug Foundation: Current law an ‘absolute joke’
The New Zealand Drug Foundation has welcomed the planned legislation, saying it is long overdue.
Its executive director Ross Bell says existing laws are an “absolute joke” and Mr Dunne has helped “slay the party pill hydra”.
“We have seen time and time again that when one substance gets banned another similar substance or substances pops up in its place,” he says.
“It makes sense that the industry should have to jump through hoops to prove its products are safe before they go on sale.”
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
6/10/2012 9:58:27 a.m.
Mr X wrote:
I put this to you have you ever tried K2 or Party Pills before and if not I ask you to be a man not a mouse have a go and then you can talk.
I understand the saftey of the public etc etc. If K2 and party pills are bad "Tell me me why are you not hitting on alcohol and Cigarete smoking don't they have bad chemcials in them?
Cannabis should be legalised it would make a difference.
Considering you are taxing Synthectic Drugs and party pills already.
People that work in the Indusrty of selling Funk etc would not have a job as retailer shop Assistant I love my job it varies and I do sell Funk and other gear in a proffesoianl Manner with saftey warning given Verbally.
If you are so concered why not introduce a managers Licence for selling Funk simuler to a Managers licence for selling alcohol.
23/08/2012 12:19:50 a.m.
Ben McAndrew wrote:
So legal highs are now illegal highs until proven "safe". Therefore this should mean that drugs that are currently illegal should have the opportunity to be proven "safe". Cannabis? Would alcohol and tobacco be classed as a legal high?!
18/07/2012 3:11:33 p.m.
prohibition failure again wrote:
All they have done is taken the responsibility off shop-owners and given it back to the criminals to protect the consumer. How about Norway as an example of progress.
17/07/2012 1:47:53 a.m.
i can't say this is a bad thing.
worth keeping an eye on to avoid the mess that is regulatory capture and other abuses, but that's true of any regulation process.
Dunne continues to provide an annoyingly balanced mix of good ideas that are worth having and keeping him around for, and supporting bad ones that make me wish to be rid of him.
16/07/2012 10:11:45 p.m.
Kyle Bluck wrote:
So does this mean the Government will test cannabis, tobacco, alcohol and caffeine for safety?
And when they find cannabis is mostly harmless while tobacco is mostly harmful, will they legislate accordingly?
16/07/2012 7:33:40 p.m.
I don't have a problem with this providing it doesn't become a de-facto ban because nobody can prove products to be safe to whatever standards are set. My workplace has gone drug test happy. My employer seems determined to follow me home and impose his religious views on my under the guise of workplace safety. Legal highs mean I can enjoy my weekend treat without fear of my boss holding a failed test result on Monday and yelling, "gotcha!". I support responsible drug usage, weekend only, not at work or driving a motor vehicle. What I do in my own time should be my own business. My boss is determined to make it his business. Legal highs protect my privacy. Regulation would give me some assurance of their safety and perhaps regulate strength (some synthetic cannaboids are way too strong for my tastes). If regulation is handled sensibly, then I would welcome it.
16/07/2012 7:32:24 p.m.
David Curl wrote:
Why is it that the Government can take these products off the shelf until the suppliers can prove they are safe, yet John key says it is impossible to ban cigerettes? Answer. The Government needs the 1 billion dollars they get from tobacco excise to bail themselves out of their economic mismanagement. Discrimination in action.
16/07/2012 6:21:09 p.m.
If they're shown to be safe then why would Minister Dunne "personally like to see party pills disappear altogether"?
This suggests that Minister Dunne has a bias against the pills which has nothing to do with public saftey or his role as Associate Health Minister. This suggest that Minister Dunne is trying to legislate social conservatism... again.
16/07/2012 6:01:55 p.m.
Trevor Wyatt wrote:
Will this see coffee banned ?! as it is placed far higher on the list of damaging chemicals to humans than most of these so called drugs.
16/07/2012 5:59:26 p.m.
Manufacturers of White sugar, fluoride, cigarettes, synthetic caffeine, cancer-causing ingredients to many. should follow do the same.
McDonald's workers striking will be a waste of time if a strike-breaking bill pa...
The NZTA is being accused of wasting taxpayer money, spending tens of thousands ...
Labour MPs are being called hypocrites for accepting Sky City's invitations to w...
ACC levies have gone down under this government, but at what cost? A prominent w...
Gerry Brownlee says the council is in a "very serious situation", but Mayor Bob ...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.