Law Commission’s Drug Report a Big Step Forward – PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Law Commission’s Drug Report a Big Step Forward
Matt Bowden, co-founder of Stargate International, today congratulated the Law Commission on the release of its report on its review of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, and hopes that the Government will adopt many of the Commission’s recommendations.
“The Law Commission has produced a comprehensive report, of which the Commissioners should be very proud. The Law Commission’s report is a big step forward in terms of evidence-based drug policy.”
Mr Bowden praised the sensitivity and sophistication with which the Law Commission considered the question of how new substances are to be regulated, rather than taking a simplistic “ban them all” approach.
“The fact is that there are many New Zealanders who prefer to enjoy themselves with the assistance of psychoactive substances other than alcohol. We have always recognised that most New Zealanders can consume alcohol responsibly – it is past time that we recognise that those New Zealanders for whom alcohol is not an option can use other psychoactives equally responsibly.”
Mr Bowden was delighted with the Law Commission’s recommendations to ensure that new psychoactives are not sold unless there is evidence that they are safe.
“The current regime means that the market is flooded with untested and potentially unsafe products. Consumers often have no way to find out what they are taking. Requiring the manufacturers of psychoactives to show that their products can be safely used is a vital step in minimising the harm caused by drug abuse. Stargate recommended that the same toxicity testing used for testing new pharmaceutical medicines be used and the Law Commission have adopted this suggestion as the best way forward.
I am also supportive of the proposed restrictions on the sale of approved psychoactives. Like alcohol, psychoactives should not be sold to under-18s and there should be restrictions on their advertising. These restrictions are common-sense and well overdue.”
Finally, Mr Bowden supported the Law Commission’s proposed reforms to the law of supply of controlled substances, to replace the offence of possession for supply with one of aggravated possession. This is an issue which Mr Bowden has explored in his first rock video “Higher” which can be viewed along with the Stargate submission referenced by the Law Commission at www.mattbowden.com.
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