1 Jul 2011

Government to crack down on synthetic drugs

12:05 pm on 1 July 2011

The Government is set to crack down on synthetic drugs that contain products not available in New Zealand.

Environmental Science and Research has found that Kronic Pineapple Express, a herbal smoking product, contains phenazepam which is not available in the country.

Phenazepam is only available in Russia where it is used to treat epilepsy.

The Ministry of Health banned Kronic Pineapple Express on Thursday.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says the Government will act on the Law Commission's recommendation of a pre-approval process before such products can go on the market.

Mr Dunne says there needs to be a long-term fix in place to assess if these types of products are safe.

Lightyears Ahead Ltd markets Kronic Pineapple Express and says it will comply with the ban.

Meanwhile a toxicologist wants to see the manufacturer shut down for exposing people to the medicine in New Zealand.

Leo Schep from the National Poisons Centre says if smoked in high quantities and used with alcohol, the drug could put someone into a coma.