Keeping legal highs legal is how New Zealand is tackling its problem with alternative ‘legal’ highs. They have just introduced a law that will licence sellers of alternative highs and only allow the sale of highs that have been through clinical safety trials.
New Zealand has taken this bold decision as they have had a bigger problem with alternative highs due to their location. They are away from the main trafficking routes for heroin and cocaine and so drugs like BZP and amphetamines have been more popular than in other countries.
The New Zealand Government used to prohibit a high as soon as they became aware of it. But this led to chemists producing more highs and getting them to market quickly without testing them which in turn led to health problems for users.
The Psychoactive Substances Bill will ban these drugs from being sold to under 18s, they won’t be sold in convenience stores or anywhere that also sells alcohol and they’ll have labels on them with ingredients and health warnings.
New Zealand aren’t the only country to move away from prohibition – Portugal, Uruguay, Netherlands, Washington state and Colorado state in the USA have also legalised or decriminalised some drugs.
There’s a United Nations special assembly in 2016 which will review the UN approach to drug control.
It’ll be interesting to see if the evidence from these pioneer countries will support prohibition or not and whether the UK will decide to experiment with it as well.
Categorised in: Aquarius