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April 7, 2008 | by  | in News |
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Act on Campus sparks media furore over pill giveaway

University of Auckland’s ACT on Campus had a busy fortnight of media exposure as media and politicians seized upon their recent distribution of BZP-based party pills as part of a membership drive.

The youth wing of the free-market-friendly ACT party sold the party pills for $1 apiece to students who joined the club during February. The New Zealand Herald reported early on March 20 that the cut-price pills had helped ACT on Campus to recruit a respectable 500 new members during the promotion.

One student quoted in a One News story was pleased with the bargain offer: “The deal was I’d sign up and get a really good deal on party pills – $1 each in fact. I’ve never come across anything like that in my life.”
BZP-based party pills were classified as a C1 drug earlier in March, and will be officially illegal for production or sale from April 1 this week. The Minister for Drugs Policy, Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton, told the Herald that the party pill promotion was “grossly irresponsible,” especially in light of recommendations that an expert committee had submitted to Parliament before the ban.

“It’s using a harmful drug to induce people at a cut price to join a political party,” he said. “How much more serious could it get than that?”

Newly returned ACT party member Roger Douglas told the Herald that ACT was not the party “to be going round wagging our finger and telling adults what they can and can’t do with their lives. I leave that up to every other political party that wants to boss people round.”

“Basically it’s something that particularly the Auckland group strongly believes in,” Rick Giles, ACT on Campus National Vice- President, explained. “We’re pro-freedom and we want people to make their own decisions for their own lives and we don’t want the state stepping in to stop us from living our lives and indulging our freedoms as we deserve.”

When asked whether ACT on Campus been irresponsible in its campaign, having distributed the pills on campus from a plastic bag, without dosage advice, instructions or health warnings to buyers – Giles responded that in his opinion, “people who would swallow the pills without taking advice would be irresponsible. But that’s up to them.”

With additional reporting by Matthew Backhouse

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Comments (2)

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  1. Alan Shore says:

    So basically the point of this article is that if you support ACT you must be on some dangerous drugs.

  2. half man says:

    it’s better than the cheap dope you get for joining the Young Nats…

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