16 Jun 2013

Australia puts national ban on synthetic drugs

1:33 pm on 16 June 2013

The Australian government is imposing an interim national ban on 19 synthetic drugs after Sydney teenager Henry Kwan took an LSD-like drug and fell to his death.

The ban will prohibit the sale and supply of the drugs for 120 days, giving state and territories time to update their legislation and outlaw synthetic drugs, AAP reports.

"Synthetic drugs are dangerous substances that can kill and should not be available for sale," minister assisting for deregulation David Bradbury said.

"The synthetic drugs market is fast-moving and suppliers have shown they are willing to change brand names and packaging to get around bans made under consumer laws."

He called on the state and territory governments to conduct an urgent review of their drug laws to make sure that synthetic drugs "are not falling through the cracks".

Synthetic drugs were banned in New South Wales earlier this month following the death of 17-year-old Henry Kwan, who plunged from a balcony thinking he could fly after taking a synthetic form of LSD bought on the internet.