Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has announced that the government will introduce and pass under urgency legislation removing from sale all remaining so called ‘legal highs’.
“While there has been a substantial reduction in the number of these products available and the number of outlets from which they can be sold, reports of severe adverse reactions continue to be received by the National Poisons Centre and Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring” says Mr Dunne.
It has been impossible to attribute these adverse effects to any particular products and in the absence of that ministers accepted my recommendation at cabinet last Tuesday to end the transitional period, taking all products with interim approval off the market.
“I will bring to parliament amending legislation to put this measure in place, to be introduced and passed through all stages under urgency on 8 May and come into force the day after receiving the Royal Assent” says Mr Dunne.
When the legislation was introduced the 41 products which were permitted to be sold were thought to be safe. They aren’t.
The ODT shows the dangers they pose:
Nathan Belcher and Aaron Macahan started using legal highs because that was what everyone else was doing.
But by the time they realised how it badly it was affecting them, it was too late.
The pair could ”easily” smoke four or five bags a day – each.
At $25 a packet, they estimate they spent $7000 on the products just this year.
Their lives followed a pattern of eating, using legal highs and sleeping. . .
Legalising these drugs was an experiment which hasn’t worked.
Making them illegal won’t get rid of them completely but it will make them much harder to get and get rid of the mistaken perception that they are harmless.