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Reassessment of BZP party pills on track

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health,
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education,
Minister Responsible for Public Trust

Progressive Leader


26th November 2006 Press release

Reassessment of BZP party pills on track

Jim Anderton, Associate Minister of Health advised today that he is expecting the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) report on its reassessment of BZP party pills in early December.

“The next EACD meeting is on 29 November and I have been advised by the Chair that the committee should be in a position to give advice and make recommendations to me in the first week of December.

“The committee will be considering the preliminary findings from the final research projects on BZP commissioned by the government, the results of the project already announced and all other information gathered on BZP party pills from various sources at the 29 November meeting.

“Once I receive that report from the EACD I will consider the advice given, any recommendations made, the evidence they are based on and make my decision on how to proceed without undue delay.

“I expect to be able to announce this decision mid December.” Jim Anderton said.

--

Background

The EACD is a statutory committee of experts established under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, which is tasked with advising the Minister on drug classification matters under that Act. Under the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act 2005 the committee was given the function to carry out evaluations of substances to assess whether they should be restricted substances and if so, make recommendations to the Minster responsible for drug policy on the appropriate restrictions or requirements.

The Minister under both Acts is required to consider the advice of the EACD as well as having regard to matters listed in the legislation such as prevalence, levels of consumption, risks to public health, international classification and other matters before making a recommendation to the Governor-General that an Order in Council is made to classify or reclassify or restrict a substance under these Acts.

BZP is already a restricted substance under the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act 2005 therefore the EACD will be advising on appropriate further restrictions (if any) or whether BZP should be classified (prohibited) under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.

Further restrictions are put in place by regulation, and there is provision for making regulations around restricted substances in the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act 2005. Classification occurs via an Order in Council process, an outline of this process can be found at www.ndp.govt.nz

ENDS

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