New Zealand bans synthetic drugs after failed attempt to regulate market
Published on May 8, 2014 8:57 AM
WELLINGTON (AFP) - New Zealand on Thursday banned synthetic drugs after Prime Minister John Key conceded an attempt to regulate the market in so-called "legal highs" had failed.
The sale of products such as synthetic cannabis and legal "party pills", which mimic the effects of drugs like ecstasy, were banned after the government introduced legislation this week following protests from the families of users affected by the substances.
"All psychoactive products will become unapproved from Thursday and it will be an offence to possess, supply or sell them," Health Minister Tony Ryall said.
Under the legislation, supply or manufacture of the drugs can result in a two-year jail term or fine of up to NZ$500,000 (S$542,000).
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