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12 Months Until Cannabis Pipes Are Off The Market

MEDIA RELEASE

Hon Wyatt Creech

Minister of Health

8 July 1999

12 Months Until Cannabis Pipes And Bongs Are Off The Market.

The Government has given retailers twelve months to phase out stocks of cannabis pipes and bongs.

"Currently utensils such as bongs and pipes can be imported or sold, but cannabis use is illegal," Health Minister Wyatt Creech said.

"Banning drug paraphernalia is in line with the Government's National Drug Policy goal of minimising the harm caused by illicit drug use to both individuals and the community.

"We currently have an inconsistent situation where the drug cannabis is illegal, but but isn't illegal to import and sell paraphernalia which is clearly intended for illegal drug use.

"We are giving retailers 12 months to get rid of their stock. The timeframe follows the consideration of submissions on the drug paraphernalia ban.

"Young people need clear and consistent messages about drug use," Mr Creech said. "The visibility and availability of paraphernalia for example, in particular pipes and bongs, specifically for illicit drug-taking activity, has the potential to send conflicting messages to young people about the appropriateness or safety of taking drugs."

The Ministry of Health, the Customs Department and New Zealand Police consulted on the proposed ban in May. Forty-one submissions were made.

"Retailers were to have three months to phase out old stocks, but concern was expressed that three months was too short. We have decided to give retailers more time to get rid of these products."

The Gazette Notice to prohibit the importation and supply of cannabis utensils pursuant to section 22 (1A) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, will be issued today but won't come into force until 1 July 2000.

ENDS


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