Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne today announced a Temporary Class Drug Notice banning a substance found in tested samples of the K2 synthetic cannabis product.
K2 has recently caused concern in communities, particularly in the lower South Island, where it has been connected to a number of incidents, and its use has been tied to elevated heart rate, vomiting, anxiety and psychosis.
A substance identified as EAM-2201 was found in two K2 products seized by police from a retail outlet, and will now be subject to a temporary drug notice taking effect from Thursday, December 6.
Wait a moment. The police seized products from a retail outlet. WTF? Couldn’t they just buy the products like anyone else? Last time I checked, a 2g pack of K2 cost $30 at Cosmic Corner or $20 + p&p online here. I suppose, being an entrenched Parliamentary trougher and now the Minister of Revenue, Peter Dunne knows no other way than to seize stuff that doesn’t belong to him. But was the police action actually legal? I see nothing in the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act (No 2) 2011, the legislation enabling the issuance of Temporary Class Drug Notices, that authorises the seizure of legal products from retail outlets. Quite simply, the police committed theft.
From that date, it will be illegal to import, manufacture, sell or supply the substance.
“The Health Ministry considers that EAM-2201 poses a risk at least comparable to other already banned synthetic cannabis substances, therefore I have made the decision that it needs to be banned.
Once upon a time New Zealand had something that vaguely resembled an evidence-based drug policy. The government had to have more than just anecdotal evidence of harm (i.e., something vaguely resembling a scientific study) before it could ban a substance. Now, Dunne the Dictator just bans as sees fit. As someone once said, gotta love Peter Dunne, “legal highs are bad, except the one that causes violence, destroys your nervous system, liver, heart, gives you cancer, and turns you into an uncouth prick yelling at rugby, I like that one, as it gives me money.”
“This is clearly not a product we want in the market place, and the fact that it is on the market tells you that we have an industry that does not give a damn about the safety of its customers.
What’s with the ‘we’, Peter Dunne? And wasn’t it the self-same industry who actually suggested that you ban the potentially carcinogenic (on account of its naphthalene group) NNE1? You’re the one who doesn’t give a damn about the safety of drug users (or the welfare of animals) or you’d be pushing to legalise cannabis.
“Any product containing EAM-2201 must be off the market under this order, which will stay in force for 12 months.”
Mr Dunne said a permanent psychoactive substances regime will be in place by the middle of next year, reversing the onus of proof so manufacturers and distributors will have to prove their products are safe before they can sell them.“
Onus of proof reversed. Guilty until proven innocent. Oops.
“Products that pass testing will still have age and other restrictions applied.
“The regime will fix this industry once and for all and make it comply with proper standards. K2 is just another example of why you cannot trust these people to self-regulate and conduct themselves responsibly,” Mr Dunne said.
K2 is just another example of what happens under Prohibition. (Far be it from me, however, to liken “these people” to Al Capone.)
“Temporary Class Drug Notices were always a holding pen until we could bring in permanent legislation, and they have done the job well. With this latest ban, we have now removed 32 substances, and therefore effectively more than 50 products, from the market,” he said.
Yeah right. A range of synthetic cannabinoid products is still on the market. Oh, and so is cannabis. (Speaking of cannabis, perhaps the real reason the police stole the K2 products is that they were flat broke after wasting millions of dollars on the failed Operation Lime.)