Kava not affected by Psychoactive Substances Bill

When the Psychoactive Substances Bill was introduced to Parliament some Labour MPs voiced concern that it might affect the traditional use of kava. O blogged about this – Kava concerns in Psychoactive Substances Bill.

Peter Dunne said at the time that it wouldn’t be affected, and he has now confirmed this and has given details.

Dunne: Kava unaffected by Psychoactive Substances Bill

The purchase and use of kava will be completely unaffected by the Psychoactive Substances Bill currently going through Parliament, confirmed Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne.

The Bill makes a number of exclusions for products already regulated by other pieces of legislation such as alcohol, medicines and tobacco. There is also an exclusion for food.

When used traditionally kava is regulated as a food under the Food Standards Code and the NZ Food (Supplemented Food) Standard 2010 when it is a drink.

Kava can also be used as a herbal remedy. When used in this way kava is currently regulated by the Dietary Supplements Regulations. There is a specific exclusion in the Psychoactive Substances Bill for dietary supplements and herbal remedies.

Soon these herbal remedies will be regulated by the Natural Health and Supplementary Products Bill, which is due to be passed and enacted later this year. That Bill will contain a consequential amendment to the Psychoactive Substances Bill to maintain the exclusion of natural health and supplementary products from the new psychoactive substances regime.

“Despite the ill-informed scaremongering by Labour MPs kava is already suitably regulated through other legislation and my Bill will have absolutely no effect on that.”

“People that use kava in either its traditional form or as a herbal remedy need not fear, it will be business as usual,” said Mr Dunne.

Disclosure: I have consumed kava on three occasions, while in holiday in Fiji nearly ten years ago. It has a slight mellowing effect.

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