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Industry welcomes legal ‘party pill’ protections

16 June 2005

Industry welcomes legal ‘party pill’ protections

The Social Tonics Association of New Zealand (STANZ) today welcomed the passing of a bill which ensures the ongoing availability of ‘party pills’, while placing legal regulations around their production and marketing.

The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill (Number Three) passed its third reading in Parliament today. The Bill outlaws the sale of party pills to people under 18 years old and requires standards in manufacture and marketing, bringing party pill regulations into line with other social tonics such as alcohol.

STANZ represents nearly 90 per cent of the manufacturers, marketers and retailers of party pills. STANZ Chairman, Matt Bowden, said members were delighted with the passing of the Bill.

“This Bill is a great example of evidence-based policy making. So-called ‘party pills’ are far safer, non-addictive alternatives to drugs like P (methamphetamine).

“This Bill will ensure their ongoing availability, yet extend a number of commonsense legal protections for consumers,” he said.

Mr Bowden said well over eight million party pills had been sold in New Zealand over the last five years, with no lasting negative effects.

“This Bill represents the most sensible approach to drug policy and harm minimisation in decades. It is an example to the rest of the world of a new, much more effective and evidence-based approach to drug policy than the ‘war on drugs’.

“The Bill not only hinders the supply of dangerous drugs such as methamphetamine, but also, for the first time, takes real action to reduce the demand for dangerous drugs by placing sensible regulation around safer alternatives.”

Mr Bowden said STANZ had been working to have party pills regulated for two years now and he acknowledged the leading role of Associate Health Minister, Jim Anderton, in working with the industry to reach the most effective solution.

He also noted the constructive and intelligent role of the Greens in developing the legislation.

STANZ members met today and agreed to take further voluntary steps to regulate the industry. These steps, which are not provided for in the Bill, would include limiting dose levels to 200mg of BZP per pill and ‘multi-packs’ to no more than 600mg total.

“We are now urging Government to adopt these further measures,” said Mr Bowden.

“STANZ members are responsible and community-focused business people who are in the industry for the long-term. Our work in getting this Bill into law is evidence of this commitment.”

ENDS

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