Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


History repeats itself as Kiwis want to get Higher

History repeats itself as Kiwis want to get Higher

Matt Bowden
30th December 2010
Ref: http://www.youtube.com/mattbowden

Social Tonics Chairman and Drug Policy Activist Matt Bowden said today that the DMAA overdose reported by Christchurch hospital doctor Paul Gee in the New Zealand Medical Journal last week is a classic case of history repeating itself.

“It is a lack of sensible and proactive regulation that leads to dosage escalation. This overdose was allowed to occur because the government is not using the regulations that have been made available to it, to control dosage and keep things safe. Industry and the Ministry of Health have spent ten years developing laws and regulations together, to set dosage limits with these sorts of products, and those regulations are not being applied.

“This is exactly the same situation that we faced a few years ago when the party pill industry set standards and maximum dosages for BZP pills. The industry body and the Ministry of Health agreed that having the government regulate the maximum dosage was a sensible idea, but the Minster ignored the advice. Some cowboy operators in Christchurch produced pills that were far too strong and people got sick as a result. These problems could have been easily and safely avoided.”

The report in New Zealand Medical Journal authored by Dr. Gee stated that the pills purchased in Christchurch had 278mg per capsule of DMAA. “We have asked government to set a maximum level of 75mg DMAA per pill, and we want it to be mandatory that customers be advised at the point of sale not to combine the products with any other drugs or supplements,” said Mr Bowden. “These pills were nearly four times the recommended strength and the patient had also taken other
stimulant pills and alcohol on top which is also not recommended.”

“We have the same situation again where DMAA is an ingredient used safely in energy products all around the world, it has been used safely by thousands of people in New Zealand for a few years, we have spent ten years building up a regulatory structure which makes it easy for government to regulate the industry but those tools are not being used, we would like to know why? Instead the government simply keeps banning substances, and people will always simply find something else, legal or otherwise.”

“New Zealand leads the world in sensible drug policies with our category of safer drug alternatives available to adults only,” said Mr Bowden. “We recognise and respect that people want to get high, and that different people do it differently, now we need to apply those regulations and move forward.”

Mr Bowden's Stargate International were previously in the news for setting up a private club for ecstasy users wanting to make a change, today Stargate International focuses research on detoxification while Matt focuses on psychedelic rock music. “I propose we set up clubs that assist patrons to detoxify and to clean themselves up to experience a natural high. We do have the technology to do that and I am happy to discuss this further. I am demonstrating something like what I would like to see in my rock video 'Higher' which you can preview today on YouTube; it's the most effective way for me to communicate what I have to say.”

The video features Outrageous Fortune actor Wesley Dowdell and Jermaine Leef from JGeek and the Geeks who recently set records for fastest trending NZ music video with their “Maori Boy” song.

“Sex drugs and rock 'n' roll are not going away, they are part of our DNA, we just need to do them all safely and responsibly.”

Matt Bowden is recognised as inventor of party pills, and is an established rock
The BZP party pills that were produced by Matt's organisation were low-dose
products, which did not cause any hospital admissions when used as directed. They
were quite different to the "cheap overdose" pills which caused problems a few years ago in Christchurch.
Over an 8.5 year period, over 26 million pills were consumed by 400,000 New
Zealanders on 10.5 million occasions without any recorded deaths or significant
lasting injuries caused by consumption of the pills.
There were no recorded adverse events caused by consumers using the pills as
Matt successfully campaigned for a new category in the Misuse of Drugs Act that
allowed for low-risk drug alternatives to be regulated by the government for sale to
adult drug users only, to reduce demand for more dangerous substances.
The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act initiated by Matt's campaigning was brought
into law in 2008, and subsequent modifications to the law allow for limits to be
placed on the dosage of Restricted Substances.
This pragmatic approach to drug policy is being picked up by Drug Policy Analysts
internationally and the New Zealand approach is being recommended to other
Matt has traveled to a number of countries meeting with politicians and drug policy
Matt signaled some time ago that he would begin to use the rock music format for
future public communications strategy.

A preview of the video featuring Outrageous Fortune's Wesley Dowdell (Aaron Spiller) and
“Maori Boy” YouTube pop sensation Jgeek (Jermaine Leef) is available at

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Using PPPs To Meet Auckland’s Roading Needs

More than once, the coalition government has ruled out using public private partnerships (PPPs) to fund the country’s infrastructure needs in health and education – apparently private profiteering in those areas is recognised as being undesirable. Not the same story though with transport, and the reasons for that differential treatment are mystifying. Earlier today, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced that one of two new roads that the government would be co-financing would be a PPP – namely, the Penlink project that will link the northern motorway to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.



HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>


PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>


Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>





Featured InfoPages