| New Zealand News | Monday July 16 2012 10:56
Party pill producers and distributors are to face strict new laws.
It means anyone marketing a legal high will have to prove its safe before it goes on sale.
In the past few years more than 28 products containing more than 50 substances have been taken off the market.
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says we're winning the battle and this announcement today will deliver the knockout blow.
Mr Dunne says it'll involve pharmacology and toxicology tests and evidence of clinical trials.
If it deters some people from bringing in products that might not pass muster, then Mr Dunne thinks that's a good thing.
Mr Dunne doesn't think the move will send the industry underground, and had this response when asked if he hopes the products just disappear.
"Personally I would but I think that look, I respect that in an open society people have got choices, what we've got to do is make sure that the regimes that we put in place to regulate the substances that they use are rigorous, reliable and consistent."
Designer drug expert Matt Bowden says for parents, it will mean less chance their kids die of an overdose.
He says it will also give consumers a choice between using illegal drugs and using something that's a lot safer.
"New Zealand is leading the way in sensible drug policy, and other countries will probably follow suit, it's something we've been working towards for over 10 years now."
Cabinet's agreed to establish a new regulator within the Ministry of Health and the new rules are expected in place early next year.
The law will permanently entrench temporary drug notice rules put in place by the Government last year.
Photo: NZ Herald