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Class B1 For Fantasy - Order In Council Passed

16 April 2002

Today Parliament passed an order to classify the Fantasy range of drugs as Class B1 under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, Associate Health Minister Hon Tariana Turia announced.

This follows on from a Cabinet decision in December 2001, and recent consideration of the issue by the Health Select Committee. It will now require a second order to be passed that specifies the date of commencement into law – likely by June this year.

The Fantasy range of drugs, depress the central nervous system.

“This is the next step in making it illegal for individuals to possess, produce, manufacture, sell, supply, import, or export these dangerous substances", Tariana Turia said.

"This Order does, however, depend on the community ensuring that young people become more aware and better informed than is currently the case.

This Order is based on the advice of the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs, which conducted a comprehensive risk assessment of these substances. It is fundamental that the classification is supported with accurate and objective information about the risks of drugs, along with key harm minimisation messages.

“To this end, I am pleased that the Ministry of Health is planning to amend its Dance Party Guidelines to include Fantasy information, to complement the information on other dance party drugs such as amphetamines [speed] and Ecstasy.

“A number of people have been hospitalised after taking Fantasy such as the publicised admissions over the Easter break. People need to realise that with these drugs, there is a fine line between achieving the effect the drug taker is seeking and having an overdose with potentially serious, even fatal consequences.

“These substances are highly unpredictable. A euphoric dose for one person could sedate another person. They also have a delayed effect increasing the risks of people overdosing because they take additional doses after a short time not realising the danger that these actions can have on individuals."

The Expert Advisory Committee's report to the Minister along with other information about Fantasy and other drugs, and harm minimisation advice is posted on the National Drug Policy Website http://www.ndp.govt.nz.

"Anyone wishing to use Fantasy-based chemicals including, gamma- hydroxybutyrate (GHB), 1,4 butanediol, (1,4-B) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), for legitimate manufacturing purposes after the new law comes into force, must have a licence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.

"As a society we must be aware of the impact Fantasy can have on families their members and all of our communities. Relevant information provided in a way that can be easily understood by all of our communities, will assist in keeping us all safe," Tariana Turia said today.

Ends

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