Parties to pop pills
The Government introduced the Psychoactive Substances Bill in late February, legislation which will affect alternative styles of nightlife around the country.
The law requires any retailed psychoactive product to be regulated before market entry, preventing unsatisfactory products entering the market. Under current operating procedure, products are removed after being discovered to be harmful.
New Zealand Drug Foundation Executive Director ross Bell welcomes the Bill. “These substances are causing harm in our communities and this bill will allow the Government to regulate the current Wild West scenario”, he said. Salient spoke to Mark Carswell, director of Cosmic, a major retailer for legal narcotics which has been in the market since 1997. Carswell believes the responsible retailers are aware of the damage the substances cause around the communities. “[Cosmic] has been a long-term supporter of the legislation working with The Government and the industry to get legal highs within a regulatory framework”, he said. “The Government is not going to turn a blind eye.”
The effects of the Bill have disappointed some, with Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne stating that “animal testing is unavoidable to prove that products are safe for human beings”. Green Party Animal Welfare Spokeswoman Mojo Mathers is disappointed the proposed Bill did not state that testing toxic compounds on animals would be avoided. “It’s great that humans are going to be better protected under this [legislation], but that can be done without harming animals”.
The Bill is expected to become law in early August.