The bizarre situation with NZ’s drug laws

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The NZ Herald reports about legal highs that are on sale in stores:

More than 20 untested brands of synthetic cannabis are now legally on sale and likely to stay on the shelves well into next year.

Drug users on online forums have described some of the products, which sell under brand names such as Anarchy, Voodoo and White Rhino, as “extremely potent” and warned users to be careful with the amount they take.

The Ministry of Health has defended the temporary approval of the drugs, saying they appear to be relatively low risk and will have to pass stringent tests if they are to go on sale permanently.

The drugs have become legal for now under the Psychoactive Substances Act, which came into force two months ago. 

The new law banned sales of synthetic drugs from dairies and other convenience stores. It allows sales from specialist shops if makers can prove their products are low risk, but the regulations setting standards may not be ready until next year.

In the meantime, the ministry is allowing 107 retailers to continue selling 28 brands of drugs – all apparently variations of synthetic cannabis – until scientists can determine what the tests should be.

So…why do we allow the sale of synthetic cannabis, which are so bad they needed a separate law for them and still have prohibition on organic cannabis.

You can kill the market in synthetic drugs overnight by legalising cannabis, you can even use the same law to regulate and control organic cannabis.

Do our law makers even know what the hell they are doing?


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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