16 Jul 2012

Opposition parties support party bill legislation

5:07 pm on 16 July 2012

Opposition parties says they support in principle proposed laws regulating the party pill industry.

The Government plans to introduce legislation this year requiring the producers and distributors of party pills and legal highs to prove they are safe with the same level of rigorous testing as new medicines, before they can be sold.

The Labour Party says the party pill industry does need to be made safer, but a lengthy and costly testing regime could force some producers to sell on a black market.

The Green Party says some users could also turn to taking illegal drugs if the regulations are too restrictive.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says Cabinet has agreed to the key details of the bill and if a product cannot be proven as safe, it will not go anywhere near the marketplace.

He says the legislation is still being drafted, and it's expected there will be enough lead-in time for the industry to obtain the required tests.

Mr Dunne does not believe the regulations would create a black market, saying the industry supports the legislation.

His view is backed by the former head of the party pills' industry body, the Social Tonics Association, who says the sector has repeatedly asked the Government to regulate the products to make sure they are safe for consumers.

Matt Bowden says the sector will also be able to afford to pay the millions of dollars required for the clinical trials and testing

Mr Dunne says Temporary Class Drug Notices will stay in place until the new legislation is in place in the middle of next year; meaning there will be no window for any banned substances to come on to the market before then.