More legal highs banned

By Amelia Romanos

Synthetic cannabis was banned in mid-August. Photo / APN
Synthetic cannabis was banned in mid-August. Photo / APN

Three more copycat cannabis substances are to be banned under interim drug legislation.

The Government last year passed the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act after reports about the dangers of synthetic cannabis products such as Kronic, which were being sold in dairies.

The Act allows substances to be banned for one year under Temporary Class Drug Notices, and is an interim measure until an overhaul of the Misuse of Drugs Act is completed.

Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne announced today that three more synthetic cannabis substances are to be banned, bringing the total number to 23.

Mr Dunne said the latest substances, chemicals AM-1248, AM-2232 and UR-144, were found in products sold in some dairies.

"I am informed by the Ministry of Health that these substances are understood to have been found in products called Spice Gold, Spice Diamond and Tai High," Mr Dunne said.

The drugs were expected to be off the shelves by the end of next week, with the notices coming into effect on April 6.

Earlier this month, Mr Dunne announced a ban would come into force on April 9 for the stimulant substance DMAA, a common ingredient in party pills and some weight loss and sports performance supplements.

Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway said although his party had supported the interim law, there were concerns it was taking too long to establish a permanent replacement.

"The first temporary ban was initiated last August. If legislation is not passed before August this year, that ban will expire and those drugs could be back on the shelf," Mr Lees-Galloway said.

"What is needed is a comprehensive and scientific approach to regulating new substances. We can not go on continually banning new substances after they have come on to the market."

- APNZ

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