Friday, 29 June 2007

BZP and party pills

In an article in the local paper (the Otago Daily Times - note that link is probably only good for a day or so) raises some interesting oppostion to legislation that proposes to ban party pills that contain BZP.

THE party-pill ingredient BZP will be forced underground following the Government’s decision to make it illegal, a Dunedin party-pill seller says.

Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton announced yesterday BZP would be reclassified as a Class C1 drug, making its sale and manufacture illegal. He hoped the legislation could be passed by the end of the year.
Surprisingly enough the move was condemned by the industry which makes and sells them and welcomed by critics (and one must assume Emergency department staff).

But maybe that Dunedin retailer (John Cockburn, owner of South Dunedin BZP retail outlet Herbal Heaven) might also have an ulterior motive

A ban would put him out of business, because he only sold BZP related products,he said.
Hmmmm, maybe he should be selling something other this, which is as herbal as drain cleaner, to kids who want a high.

His decision to recommend a ban to Cabinet was based on research, analysis of submissions and advice from experts and Government agencies. There would be a six-month amnesty for possession of less than 5g of the drug for personal use after the ban came into effect.
That sounds like a reasonable and well thought out action on the part of the minister.

However the comments of the reaction from some of the other points of view quite interesting.
First we have one of the more extremist parties in Parliament:
Green Party drug law reform spokeswoman Metiria Turei said the party was disappointed by the move, but pleased the Government had chosen to make the changes using the full legislative process, rather than by resolution, so the decision was open to full public and parliamentary scrutiny and debate.
Well at least they are all for the process. This guy sounds like he is from an industry lobby group:
Social Tonics Association of New Zealand (Stanz) chairman Matt Bowden said prohibition was not the right way to minimise BZP harm.

‘‘P is prohibited and look at the problems there,’’ Mr Bowden said.

The right answer was regulation, a power Mr Anderton had under the Misuse of Drugs Act, he said.
The main opposition in Parliament clearly have their head screwed on as to this issue but still manage to get a jibe at the government
National Party Otago MP Jacqui Dean said the process had taken too long, but she welcomed the move.

And more importantly from the people who have been studying the issue:
Meanwhile, a doctor who led a major study of party pill use said yesterday’s decision was ‘‘a tough call’’ but on balance was probably the right one.

Dr Chris Wilkins, from Massey’s Centre for Social and Health Outcomes, said there had been no research on the longterm effects of BZP or the role it might play in psychological illness.

‘‘Consequently, there was a strong case for stricter regulation of the use and sale of party pills and on balance a ban appears to be the low-risk decision,’’ he said.
Surely there have to be more fun things for today's youth to do than this. Although just thinking that last statement made me feel very much older than 27.


Ken said...

You’ve been tagged. Visit for the rules.

MikeE said...

Except for the fact that there is absolutely no evidence that BZP has any level of harm to justify making possession or consumption a criminal offense, especially when compared to legal drugs such as alcohol.

The studies that the EACD and the government have based their findings on were flawed and did not meet peer review guidelines due to shonky construction of tests, flawed assumptions and inherant biases in the way it was carried out.

"Over 20 million pills containing BZP have been consumed in New Zealand with no available record attributing deaths or lasting injuries to a single ingestion of BZP. Additionally, a retrospective study carried out at an Auckland emergency department found that BZP presentations only made a minor contribution to their overdose database with most cases not producing any significant toxicity."


bzpresearch said...

Taking BZP pills are health hazards many people take it in the party.I think it is not good.There should be more research about BZP and TFMPP powder.

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