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News (Media Awareness Project) - New Zealand: Govt Eyes Party Pills For Possible Ban
Title:New Zealand: Govt Eyes Party Pills For Possible Ban
Published On:2011-08-01
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)
Fetched On:2011-08-03 06:00:41
GOVT EYES PARTY PILLS FOR POSSIBLE BAN

Prime Minister John Key says banning the sale of synthetic cannabis
products is the right move, while the long term health risks remain
unknown.

Tomorrow 43 synthetic cannabis products, including the popular Kronic
brand, will be banned under legislation to go before Parliament.

The action will see a ban on the 43 synthetic products in place by
Friday, with the products off the shelves just over a week later.

Cabinet today approved amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Amendment
Bill that will take synthetic cannabis off the market for 12 months
while the Government works on its detailed response to the Law
Commission's recent report.

Prime Minister John Key said at his post-Cabinet press conference that
the risks of Kronic and other similar products were not known, but the
possible long term effects could not be ignored.

"We are not going to stand by while these substances are being
constantly made and put up for sale."

He said the long term aim was to introduce legislation which required
makers to prove the drug was safe before it could be sold.

He said other substances such as party pills would be considered as
part of longer term changes, but the immediate concern was about the
43 drugs in question.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne will introduce a Supplementary
Order Paper to the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill that will allow a
temporary order to be put on substances like Kronic.

Such an order will take the products off the market for 12 months
while their safety is tested.

Mr Dunne said the temporary class drug notices will be an interim
measure which will mean the substances, although not Class C1
controlled drugs, will carry the same penalties as Class C1 drugs.

He said the process around dealing with these substances has been
complex and it was important that the Government get it right.

"Critics have pointed to faster responses overseas, but some of those
laws are coming unstuck already, with new products coming on to the
market that are not covered.

"We have addressed that here. If new products turn up and we are
concerned about them, we will be able to put temporary class drugs
notices on them straight away.
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