12 Dec 2012

Ministry to look at new legal high

11:30 pm on 12 December 2012

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says a synthetic drug called Crack will be looked at to make sure it's not harmful.

The legal drug has a picture of a glass pipe on the packaging but no specific information about the product, other than a warning saying "Use at your own risk."

Mr Dunne plans to introduce legislation changing how New Zealand regulates party pills and other legal recreational drugs next year.

He says at this stage the packaging is the most alarming aspect of the synthetic high and he expects the Ministry of Health to look at the product.

Mr Dunne says "The issue with it seems to relate as much to the way in which it's being presented as being an imitation of the real thing rather than perhaps its contents but nonetheless it's pretty shabby. I think it's nasty, I think it's pernicious and I think it's unacceptable."

The associate minister says there are no requirements for suppliers of legal drugs to provide information about health risks.

A supplier of the synthetic drug, who doesn't want to be named, says it's a safe alternative to illicit drugs and is legal.

The Drug Foundation says Crack being sold in dairies is extremely alarming and is a cynical ploy by the legal high industry.