Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Anderton seeks to upgrade "Ecstasy" classification

Sunday 23 May 2004
Media release

Anderton seeks to upgrade "Ecstasy" classification

Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton said today that he will seek his Cabinet colleagues' support to reclassify MDMA, commonly known as "Ecstasy” or ‘E,” as a Class B1 controlled drug, up from Class B2 at present.

"I have accepted the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs to reclassify Ecstasy in order to better reflect the increasing risk of harm it poses to New Zealand," the Progressive leader said.

"I am determined to prevent the expansion of the hard drug market in New Zealand and the reclassification I am seeking is a step toward that goal, “ he said.

A B1 classification allows police officers to search and seize without a warrant which means that police officers will be able to take immediate action when they suspect drug-related offending involving the drug, the Progressive leader said.

A penalty of up to 14 years' imprisonment for importation, manufacture and supply remains unchanged under the new classification.

Jim Anderton said he has also accepted the EACD's recommendation that the current five gram presumption of supply for Ecstasy be extended to better ensure all forms of this drug are caught.

Presumption of supply for an illicit drug means that if an individual has five grams or more in his or her possession there is a legal presumption that they are suppliers and this provides a wider net for catching more suppliers of the drug.

There have been three Ecstasy related deaths since 1998 and New Zealand drug surveys indicate that there has been an increase in Ecstasy use.

"In 2002, Police and Customs seized 248,034 Ecstasy tablets, compared with 83,448 in 2001. This rise in illegal imported drugs is due to an increased targeting of New Zealand by international crime syndicates.

Jim Anderton became Associate Health Minister responsible for the National Drug Policy after the July 2002 general election.

Issues that the EACD considered when assessing the classification of MDMA or Ecstasy included:

- Sharply rising prevalence of MDMA use and importation into New Zealand;
- Mounting evidence that Ecstasy-type drugs have a neurotoxic effect;
- No conclusive evidence that MDMA has any therapeutic application;
- MDMA seems likely to be proven to be moderately dependence-producing
- Worrying links between New Zealand’s MDMA market and organised crime
- Increasing number of cases of attempted MDMA manufacture in New Zealand;

The Expert Advisory Committee on Drug's recommendations on MDMA will be posted on the National Drug Policy website

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election