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New Zealand bans synthetic cannabinoids

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d5395 (Published 23 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5395
  1. Karen Brown
  1. 1Wellington

The New Zealand government has changed its drugs law to ban all synthetic cannabinoids for a year.

An amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act was passed by parliament in early August to ban the products from 16 August. A new temporary drug class notice listing 16 synthetic cannabis-like substances makes it illegal to manufacture, import, export, sell, or supply the substances or any product containing them.

The government says that mixes of the substances occur in all 43 synthetic cannabinoid products known in New Zealand as kronic, which are used solely for recreational purposes.

Peter Dunne, associate health minister, told the BMJ that the ban applies for a year to every product listed.

He said that he “wanted to get an interim regime here that was sufficiently broad …

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