New Zealand clamps down on 'legal' highs

July 18, 2013

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.

Explore further: Australia cracks down on synthetic drugs

Related Stories

Australia cracks down on synthetic drugs

June 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.

Synthetic drug use rapidly rising in Europe, report finds

May 28, 2013
New synthetic psychoactive substances are making their way into Europe where the Internet is becoming a big challenge in the fight against illicit drugs, the continent's drug agency warned Tuesday.

New designer drugs multiplying, testing authorities, UN says

June 26, 2013
New drugs marketed as "legal highs" and "designer drugs" are emerging fast and in great numbers, and authorities are struggling to keep up, a new UN report warned Wednesday.

EU drugs watchdog warns of 'legal highs' surge

November 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.

Illegal drug users more likely to use new synthetic drugs and pharmaceuticals

October 18, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Methamphetamine users' use of synthetic cannabis products (such as Kronic) increased from ten per cent in 2010 to 41 per cent in 2011 an annual report on illegal drug use shows. Many of these synthetic ...

New York law stubs out synthetic marijuana

March 29, 2012
Synthetic marijuana, which is sold openly in shops and gives smokers a high, was banned Thursday across New York after being linked to serious health risks.

Recommended for you

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

Study reveals what sleep talkers have to say

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers with members from several institutions in France has conducted a study regarding sleep talking and has found that most sleep talking is not only negative in nature, but involves a large amount of swearing. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.