Friday, November 28, 2014


Earlier this year, the government effectively banned legal highs by withdrawing all interim certifications for them. How's that worked out? The front-page of the Manawatu Standard today tells me that "Meth use on rise after legal high ban":

Former methamphetamine addicts in Palmerston North have gone back to using the drug since synthetic highs were made illegal, a Manawatu addiction service says.

MidCentral District Health Board's alcohol and other drug addiction (AOD) service reported an increase in people presenting with problematic methamphetamine and cannabis use since synthetic cannabis became illegal in May.

Mental health service clinical director Dr Syed Ahmer said staff had seen an increase in use of the drug, particularly when people were also using other substances.

I'm not sure that that's really a good result, either from a public health or criminal law perspective. But its what happens when you pass knee-jerk legislation in the midst of a moral panic, rather than stopping to think about it.