There is a growing debate on how to control new psychoactive substances (legal highs) in New Zealand. Drug Reporter traveled there to give an insight into the innovative policy introduced by the government last year.

9 May 2014

The growing market for new psychoactive substances (so called legal highs) is a headache for politicians all over the world. Large quantities of formerly unkown drugs are shipped from Chinese and Indian factories to urban centres, where smart online distributors market them among young people as cheap and legal substitutes for currently illegal drugs.

Images -9

New Zealand, a country far from drug trafficking routes, had to face this challenge much earlier than other developed nations. Its government at first responded to this challenge in the good old prohibitionist way: banning as many new substances as possible, as fast as possible. There was only one problem with this approach - namely, that it didn't work. As soon as a substance was banned, a new substitute replaced it in the market, with a slightly different molecular structure and similar psychoactive properties. In 2013, policy makers introduced a new law which aimed to create a legal, regulated market for certain new drugs – so long as the distributor could provide clinical evidence that they pose a low risk to public health.  

Here is a short summary of the films made by Drug Reporter at this important event and below you will find a link to all the films made at the event.

 See all the other great films here

Share this on: