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Party pill research doesn't justify prohibition

13 June 2006

Party pill research doesn't justify prohibition

The findings of the first of four research projects into party pill use and its effects are being welcomed by the Green Party, with a note of caution that they should not be used to justify total prohibition.

The research, which shows that as many as one in five New Zealanders have tried BZP or party pills, was released by the Ministerial Committee on Drugs today. It also found that 60 per cent of those surveyed believed there should be tougher regulation of the sale of the pills.

"The Green Party also believes that the sale of party pills should be subject to strict regulation, but we would be very disappointed if this research were used in any attempt to justify total prohibition of BZP," Green Party Alcohol and Drugs Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"We have learnt from the past with the examples of alcohol and cannabis that prohibition simply does not work. As the research points out, the risks of BZP are still largely unknown. The best chance of dealing with them successfully as they emerge is to ensure that party pills are a legal substance which can be regulated, rather than prohibiting them and confining them to underground use where the risks cannot be taken into account.

"The fact that the rate of use is so high among New Zealanders highlights this, as prohibition would effectively criminalise one fifth of the population.

"The best tool we have against harm from drug use is information, so it is great to see this research being produced. I am looking forward to the results of the remaining three projects. I hope that all the findings are used to help develop sensible regulations around the use of BZP in New Zealand," Mrs Turei says.


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