New party pill regulations expected
Mon, 16 Jul 2012 6:31a.m.
The manufacturers of party pills and synthetic cannabis will have to prove their products are safe before they can be sold, under a law change expected to be announced on Monday.
Currently, the Government is able to temporarily ban specific ingredients in the so-called legal highs with 12-month temporary class drug orders, which classify the substances as the equivalent of Class C1 drugs.
The orders have seen products like synthetic cannabis Kronic, which could be sold in dairies, made illegal.
However, the orders are only issued after new products arrive on shelves.
The first orders, which came into effect in August last year - amidst concerns about the unknown health effects of combining untested psychoactive chemicals - are about to expire.
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne will make an announcement about progress on regulating psychoactive substances on Monday morning.
The regulations, recommended by the Law Commission, require manufacturers to ensure their products are safe, with quality-control standards.
Ross Bell from the Drug Foundation says it's good advice that he expects the Government to take.
“We understand that the Government will be saying to the party pill industry, ‘if you guys want to exist then you have to jump through these hoops, prove that your product represent a low risk, and then we might let them be sold but we’re going to put some very tight controls in place’,” he says.
Mr Bell says the current drug law is over 35 years old - and needs updating.
A committee has spent the last 12 months assessing the temporarily banned substances.
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17/07/2012 9:19:38 a.m.
Blair Anderson wrote:
When have we heard ONE SINGLE POLITICIAN actualy talk about the legislated "Restricted Substances Regulations" passed in response to 'emerging drug threats' (anderton et al) and the apprently pretty benign party ills and herbals industry. Such a discussion would be intructive. For all the 'conservative' middle ground no one has ever posited these regulations as being anything but fit for use. Heralded as innovative and fit for use by experts such as Professor Nutt, they unmasked the double standards and treated 'USE of psychoactive recreational substances, 'by adults', honestly and earnestly giving the consumer full protection under commercial law.
the explanatory note in the regs is enlightening.
This note is not part of the regulations, but is intended to indicate their general effect.
The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act 2005 (the Act) created a regime for regulating restricted substances. Restricted substances are psychoactive drugs that are considered to be of low risk but still in need of some regulation. Part 3 of the Act established a limited number of controls for restricted substances, including a minimum purchase age of 18 years and prohibitions on free-of-charge distribution and the advertisement of restricted substances in certain media. Section 62 of the Act allowed for wider controls to be implemented through regulation.
These regulations, which come into force on the 28th day after the date of their notification in the Gazette, place further controls on the places from which restricted substances can be sold or supplied, the signage that must be displayed, and the advertising, labelling, packaging, and storage of restricted substances.
Why is it that raising the minimum price for alcohol is considered 'good managment'? The state has NO CONTROL of the minimum price for illegal drugs... the only qualifier is "hey? got twenty bucks!"
Relegating soft drugs to 'no controls' is irresponsible. It is harm maximisation, not best practice.
16/07/2012 11:03:26 a.m.
So, why has Donkey not banned alcohol? It causes alot more mayhem them cannbis, party pills and synthetic cannabis commbined.Think about it, should we ban alcohol and relese cannbis? YES we need to.
16/07/2012 7:37:49 a.m.
Wiseacre is spot on. How safe do they need to be. If they need to be as safe as alcohol then everything will be approved, if they need to be as safe as bubble-wrap then nothing will be. Risk is incredibly subjective.
Further, how will they prove it? By testing on volunteers?
16/07/2012 7:11:57 a.m.
*Safe* by what standard? As safe as alcohol? As safe as viagra? As safe as peanut butter? As safe as cannabis? If the Government wants to outright ban something, surely the Government should have to prove it is inherently dangerous, and they are not just being reactionary moralistic wowsers.
There is much in this world that is not *safe* if used incorrectly, or to excess, or by the wrong person, but the answer is not to make everything illegal.
Consenting adults want what they want. Prohibition has never worked. Prohibition is an abdication of responsibility by the state. It is prohibition that gives the cartels & dealers valuable, tax-free, un-regulated markets to exploit. Society needs to control and regulate these substances, not drive them underground.
The Government should serve the will and interests of the people, not protect the interests & profit of multinational corporations. Rather than constantly looking to ban any intoxicant that isn't *their* choice of intoxicant - alcohol - recognise that a lot of people see the immense harm that alcohol causes and are looking for safer alternatives.
The politicians need to recognise that what intelligent, informed, free-thinking adults choose to consume in the privacy of their own home, without harming anybody else, is not the Government's business. It is time the Government stopped wasting state resources criminalising hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders and started to represent the people rather than protect the financial interests of the establishment. We need, and deserve, a rational drug policy based upon the science; instead we get one based on rhetoric and scaremongering.
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