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Evidence that party pills are not a problem

22 February 2005

Evidence that party pills are not a problem

The Social Tonics Association of New Zealand (STANZ) will this afternoon demonstrate to the Health Select Committee in Auckland that ‘party pills’ are not a problem.

STANZ will also ask the Committee to introduce sensible, appropriate and enforceable regulations around the sale and marketing of these products to ensure things stay this way.

STANZ is the industry association representing 80 per cent of party pill manufacturers, distributors and marketers in New Zealand.

The STANZ submission is in response to the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill SOP which is designed to introduce controls around the sale of party pills and substances deemed not dangerous enough to warrant prohibition. The STANZ submission will be at 4.45pm at the Alexandra Park Functions Centre, Epsom.

STANZ spokesperson Matt Bowden said the Association had been requesting a level of Government regulation into the sale and marketing of these products throughout 2004.

“While these products are not suitable for children, they are of genuine value as a safe, legal alternative to dangerous illegal drugs such as methamphetamine or P,” said Mr Bowden.

“We have been working closely with the Ministry of Health in terms of developing a workable regime that continues to provide safe alternatives to illegal drugs while at the same time restricting their sale to adults and controlling their production and marketing.

“STANZ is pleased that this SOP is advocating a common sense position which is based on the best international evidence and the recommendation of New Zealand’s Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs,” he said.

Mr Bowden said more than six million legal party pills had been sold in New Zealand over the last six years, with no long-term adverse effects.

“These products were originally designed to help facilitate the move away from addictive drugs and all the evidence we see is that these products are succeeding in doing this.”

Mr Bowden said that as the use of these products has increased, there has been a steady decline in the numbers of people turning up to hospital requiring treatment for illegal drugs such as GHB and ecstasy.

“We acknowledge that there have been some participants in the market recently who have not operated to the desired standards. This is precisely why we are calling for an element of central regulation.”

Mr Bowden said he hoped the Committee continued to take an evidence-based approach to this issue and urged the Committee to introduce light-handed and balanced regulation to keep all members of the community safe.

ENDS

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