New Zealand clamps down on 'legal' highs

New Zealand introduced a new law on Thursday which bans the use of drugs offering so-called "legal" highs unless manufacturers can provide clinical evidence that they are safe.

The law imposes strict controls on products such as synthetic and legal "party pills", which mimic the effects of drugs like without using illicit substances.

"These products have had a shocking effect on young people and their families," Associate Health Minister Todd McClay said.

"Up until now, frontline officers have had to deal with the consequences," he continued. "Now police can be proactive, and with the help of the public we can ensure that this new law is successfully enforced."

McClay said he had received accounts of children as young as 11 becoming addicted to the , but New Zealand's "world-leading" legislation would address the problem.

"The sooner this dangerous muck is out of our dairies (newsagents) and corner stores the better," he said.

Previously, authorities had to prove a synthetic drug was harmful before ordering it off the shelves.

Under the new law, all synthetic will be illegal until their producers can provide clinical proof, such as toxicology reports and evidence from trial studies, that they are safe.

The department of health has estimated that carrying out such tests will cost manufacturers up to NZ$2 million ($1.6 million) for each synthetic , effectively deterring them from trying to sell such substances in New Zealand.

The law also stops the products being sold to minors and bans them from easily accessible retail outlets such as service stations and convenience stores.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Australia cracks down on synthetic drugs

Jun 16, 2013

Australia imposed an interim ban on 19 synthetic cannabis and cocaine-like drugs on Sunday as part of a crackdown on the psychoactive substances which mimic the highs of their illegal counterparts.

EU drugs watchdog warns of 'legal highs' surge

Nov 15, 2011

The rapid emergence of synthetic new drugs, often sold online as "legal highs," represents a significant challenge for policy makers in the coming decade, a European Union drugs agency said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Study shows human ear impacted by low frequency noises

14 minutes ago

(Medical Xpress)—A new study by a team of researchers in Germany has resulted in findings that suggest the human ear is more impacted by low frequency sounds than has been previously thought. In their paper ...

Learn how to recognize, intervene in domestic violence cases

2 hours ago

As recently as 40 years ago, domestic violence often was not considered a crime, even by law enforcement and the judicial system. Victims had little or no resources to help them escape the violence aimed at them and their ...

Exercise to prevent falls and fractures

3 hours ago

Boosting your activity levels and doing strength and balance exercises significantly reduces your risk of breaking a bone as a result of falling if you are over 60, according to experts from an international research group ...

User comments