$300 fine for unapproved legal highs
Wed, 10 Oct 2012 2:05p.m.
By 3 News online staff
The Government has unveiled more details of its crackdown on legal highs, which will cost manufacturers millions of dollars in product testing.
Companies which produce psychoactive substances will have to pay an application fee of $180,000 to the Government for each of their products.
They will also have to prove the product is safe with up to $2 million of scientific testing.
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says he is setting the bar high with his permanent psychoactive substances regime, which comes in June next year.
He says those who flout the law and sell untested, unregistered substances could spend up to eight years behind bars.
Consumers will also be fined $300 if found in possession of illegal psychoactive substances.
“We will no longer play the cat-and-mouse game of constantly chasing down substances after they are on the market,” says Mr Dunne.
He says the regime has always been based on reversing the onus of proof.
“I make no apologies for setting the bar high on public safety and putting in place a regime with the process costs squarely on the legal highs industry, and not the taxpayer.”
Legal high products will have a minimum purchase age of 18 and advertising the products is banned, apart from where is bought.
Packaging will also have to list active ingredients, the National Poisons Centre’s phone number and contact details for the product’s New Zealand manufacturer or supplier.
“To date, there has been no ingredient information, so no one who buys these products has the first clue what is in them, which is as ridiculous as it is dangerous and irresponsible,” he says.
Until the regime becomes law, Mr Dunne says a temporary ban – which has seen more than 50 products come off the shelves – will stay in force.
Industry welcomes regime
Matt Bowden, the man behind BZP and Kronic, says he’s been calling for industry regulation for a long time and has welcomed the move by the Government.
“What Peter Dunne is setting up is a system whereby investment will be attracted to research in this area,” he says.
He says it will draw people away from methamphetamine and other dangerous drugs and onto safer highs created and tested by pharmaceutical companies.
“We need to set the safety standard as high as humanly possible,” says Mr Bowden.
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11/10/2012 6:34:56 p.m.
Well, that should price out the legal market nicely and increase the illegal market again. Is Peter Dunne working for a Mexican cartel or what?
11/10/2012 2:30:22 p.m.
had my first and last try of a legal high last friday.after having two puffs i felt a sick feeling and then passed out hitting my head and then going in to a fit.now i have lost some vision in my right eye.i cant believe this crap is legal and real weed isnt.if my eye doesnt come right there will be hell to pay.i never passed anything at school but the way thi country and world is getting run i feel that i am fully qualified to be in parliment.
11/10/2012 10:00:45 a.m.
i would suggest enforcing the law on those who are advertising one thing, but selling another. ingredient lists MUST coinside with contents, and if not is contempt of trading standards. this is a major issue and i would suggest, the most important (as well as limiting it to over-18s only of course). other than that, i would say it is personal choice and this personal liberty should be permitted provided you are a consenting adult.
11/10/2012 8:26:09 a.m.
Then why doesn't cigerettes have all its ingredients listed. Reports show stuff like arsenic are in them. The other alternative is to tax the hell out of these drugs and create a steady stream of income for the government. If the government claims use of them will cost the taxpayers in years to come, then put the drug taxes into a special account so when a drug user needs medical treatment the money is there. Pity the governments over the years didn't do that with cigerette taxes, because they claim smokers are draining the health system. What about fast food whats in that? there aren't labels when you buy your chips. The government have allowed potato chips manufactures to use palm oil which causes the loss of habitat for orangatangs and for humans huge health risks. Yet Peter Dunne is only concentrating on an easy target to get a political win. Ps I am not a smoker or a drug user. Just sick of any government interference when its not needed.
10/10/2012 6:56:24 p.m.
This news story is just saying what has already been announced. The only new item I can see is a fine for possession of unapproved substances. If this doesn't turn into a de-facto ban, I'm fine with this. I want these products to be safe. Currently I do use some of these things in the weekend. The only reason I use them is due to the current explosion of drug testing in the workplace. If it wasn't for my bosses obsession with following me home and dictating to me how I live my life off the job, I wouldn't touch them.
10/10/2012 6:55:36 p.m.
helen time wrote:
people will just smoke the real thing so what did he acheive ? .
10/10/2012 5:58:46 p.m.
Prohibition does not work! Dunne is a tool, people with intelligence support legalizing all contraband substances. Why? Because prohibition clearly does not prevent its usage! All prohibition does is create black markets, exorbitant prices for illict substances, and following on from that an inherent increase in crimes against innocent parties such as aggravated robbery, burglary and petty theft. Not to mention the fact that governments worldwide would save tremendous amounts of money.
10/10/2012 3:22:04 p.m.
time to legalize the natural and safe cannabis, for its many uses. Then this fake weed wouldnt exist, police could focus on actual crime, and with any luck, people like dunne will no longer be reuired in parliament.
10/10/2012 3:16:37 p.m.
Pffftt.. Stick with the Illegal ones I think, cheaper and less hassles.
10/10/2012 3:02:15 p.m.
Yes!! About time Well done Mr Dunne!! Why should Taxpayers of NZ Ltd pay to prove their stuff is not safe.
Next step drug test these beneficaries, if i have to be drug free to work,to earn money to prop some of these people up, they need to be also
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