New Zealand authorities allowed to sell synthetic drugs; manufacturers will be obliged to pay for research and to prove the safety of new drugs
In New Zealand, legalized the sale of synthetic psychoactive substances, reports CNN.
On June 11, the New Zealand Parliament approved the Law on Psychoactive Substances, which regulates the production, testing and sale of recreational drugs: synthetic cannabinoids, “club pills” and the latest “designer drugs”, as well as mephedrone and other synthetic cathinones, which are part of most drugs known to market under the common name “bath salts”. The law does not apply to traditional drugs like marijuana, cocaine and psilocybin mushrooms.
Now before selling a new drug, manufacturers are required to send substances to a clinical test. According to The Weekend Herald, the application for registration of a new drug will cost € 180,000, and two-year clinical trials will cost the manufacturer € 2 million. If successfully completed, the sale of the drug will be limited to a network of licensed outlets. The law prohibits selling drugs in grocery, dairy, grocery stores and service stations.
Like alcohol, synthetic drugs are prohibited from selling to New Zealanders under 18 years of age. In addition, advertising of a substance is permitted only at the place of sale. The law obliges manufacturers to place on the package the full composition of ingredients and the telephone of the National Center of Poisoning.
“While other countries are still blindly prohibiting drugs for drugs, the Psychoactive Substances Act will allow New Zealand to outrun the industry (drug production. – RP) in this one-turn game. This is a comprehensive, pragmatic and innovative approach to solving a complex problem, ”said Ross Bell, executive director of the New Zealand Drug Foundation, a non-governmental organization working in the field of social harm to drug addiction.
The expert noted that it is pointless to prohibit a specific narcotic substance, since “two, three or four analogs” will appear on the market.
“You cannot ban something that does not yet exist. The government is not able to prevent such things, ”he said.
June 26 in Vienna at the conference of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime noted the danger of new synthetic drugs based on mephedrone or artificial analogues of marijuana. Experts first of all pay attention to the lack of knowledge of the chemical composition and effects of these substances. Some of them can cause paranoia, hallucinations, convulsions and psychotic personality disorder.
“In most cases, synthetic analogues of cannabis are much worse than the real substance,” said Mark Peterson, chairman of the New Zealand Medical Association.
However, New Zealanders must be prepared for the fact that the cost of producing synthetic drugs due to the strict testing regime will be prohibitively high, and this cannot but affect the retail price of the product. At the same time, the country’s industry accepted the possibility of legalization with optimism. Representatives of one of the manufacturing companies informed the special committee of the parliament that they are already planning to build a new plant to meet the requirements of the bill. At the same time, New Zealand doctors warn that no other country in the world has yet gone so far in the issues of drug legalization.
Supporters of the legalization of marijuana are also watching with interest the effect of the new law, although it will apply only to synthetic drugs. They believe that in the future the same principles of testing and licensing can be extended to substances of plant origin.