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Dunne bans further two substances found in K2

Hon Peter Dunne
Associate Minister of Health

30 April 2013

Dunne bans further two substances found in K2

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne today announced a Temporary Class Drug Notice banning more substances found in tested samples of K2 synthetic cannabis.

The ban on two substances, which will come into effect on Thursday, 9 May, brings to 35 the number of substances banned under temporary notices and more than 50 products containing those substances are now off the market.

“This is another blow to the industry and one of many we have delivered – but I fully acknowledge it is more of the cat-and-mouse game until we can deliver the killer punch in August when the Psychoactive Substances Bill will become law,” Mr Dunne said.

Submissions on the legislation close tomorrow and the Health Select Committee is due to report the Bill back to Parliament in mid-June.

“What this ban will do in the meantime is force more of the K2 product off the shelves and that is the best outcome we can have at this point with a product that is clearly bad for people.”

Mr Dunne said that the industry and the outlets that sell it have “no integrity whatsoever”.

“There is no goodwill and there is no decency in this industry, and that is why we are legislating. They prove day-in and day-out that they cannot be trusted.

‘Again, we are hitting some of the K2 product because it appears to be at the forefront of harm to young people. We have tested the products and we will test more, but I am counting the weeks until the law that will reverse the onus of proof on safety comes in.”

The two substances being banned are BB-22 and 5F-AKB48, and both have been found in K2 products.

From that date, it will be illegal to import, manufacture, sell or supply the substances, with penalties of up to 8 years imprisonment.

“The Health Ministry considers that these particular substances pose a risk at least comparable to other already banned synthetic cannabis substances, therefore I have made the decision that it needs to be banned,” Mr Dunne said.

“And I encourage police enforcement of these bans at every opportunity, and I also encourage community pressure on dairies and other outlets that sell them.

“We need to apply pressure from all ends on a dirty industry until we can get our world-leading legislation in place,” he said.

ENDS

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