Local ‘legal high’ laws liked in London

New Zealand leading the way in dealing with legal highs.

Britain ‘impressed’ with NZ’s legal high laws

New Zealand’s regime for approving so-called “legal highs” could become a template for British regulations, with a government committee there recommending key parts of new legislation be adopted.

A report by Britain’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform has recommended Westminster should adopt “the key features of the New Zealand policy” – that the onus of proving legal highs have a “low risk of harm” should be put on the manufacturers.

The British drug reform committee, chaired by Baroness Meacher, is “impressed” by New Zealand’s approach.

“They have examined the best available knowledge about the harms of particular psychoactive substances,” the British committee’s report said.

“They encourage suppliers to focus on product safety, and restriction of supply to protect vulnerable consumers, particularly young people.”

Like any product the onus of ensuring reasonable safety should be on the supplier.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said today he was not surprised by the report’s findings with one of the committee members “making positive noises” about the approach during a visit late last year.

Other countries were also watching the new regime with interest.

“We’re getting a lot of enquiries from Britain, various states in Australia, jurisdictions in the United States, about the regime,” Dunne said.

“They all see it as being quite innovative, and a world first really, in terms of how to address the issue.”

The new pre-market testing rules for legal highs are scheduled to come into force in August.

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