Synthetic drug bill becomes law tonight

Photo / John Stone
Photo / John Stone

The Psychoactive Substances Bill controlling synthetic drugs becomes law from midnight.

The range of prohibitions and penalties for breaches of the new law include:

* No sales from dairies or any sort of grocery store, petrol stations, or anywhere alcohol is sold

* No sales to under 18-year-olds

* No advertising, except at the point of sale

* Strict labelling requirements

"After more than two years of considerable hard work, New Zealand finally has a tool with which to address the scourge of unregulated psychoactive substances,'' Associate Health Minister Todd McClay said.

Those who break the ban face prosecution and penalties of up to $10,000 for an individual and $50,000 for a body corporate.

"To those under 18 thinking of using these products, or those contemplating supplying them, take my advice, it's just not worth it,'' Mr McClay said.

The Act also puts an end to the situation that had developed with the temporary class drug regime, with drugs currently subject to temporary class drug notices made under the Misuse of Drugs Act continuing to be prohibited from sale.

"This new law provides a valuable tool for our police out in communities,'' said Police Minister Anne Tolley.

The Ministry of Health has developed a website to deal with queries regarding psychoactive substances, which went live last Friday.

- APNZ

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