NORML’s Position on ‘legal highs’ & the Psychoactive Substances Act

  • NORML supports the intention of the Psychoactive Substances Act
  • It should be widened to cover all low-risk drugs including cannabis
  • Legalising and regulating cannabis is the most effective way of closing down the market for synthetic cannabis

The idea of legalising and regulating low risk drugs instead of trying to ban them is one that NORML supports.  We agree with Parliament that regulation is the best way to ensure that only safe products are put on the market – in the long run.  It is true that some potentially harmful “legal highs” have got temporary licensed but in time they will all be tested and only safe ones will be permitted.  While the process has some teething issues it is heading in the right direction, as we hope all cannabis law reform supporters agree.

The Psychoactive Substances Act is an admission by the Government and politicians of all parties that banning drugs does not really work.  New Zealand has banned cannabis since 1927 and its more popular than ever before!

NORML is calling for cannabis to be compared with substances regulated under the new Psychoactive Substances Act, which was passed with the support of almost every member of Parliament from all political parties.  We think that cannabis would pass the “low risk” test and it would prove that cannabis should be regulated as it now is in Colorado and Washington State (in the USA).

One problem is that cannabis is covered by international agreements dating back to 1961, and the legal highs are not covered by these agreements, so we also need reform at the UN level. This is happening now, with a special session expected to reform the treaties in 2016.

2014 is an election year.

NORML says voters should look at all the candidates in their electorate, because in the end there is likely to be a free vote in Parliament and every MP will have to vote individually on cannabis law reform. So, start asking the candidates now! Let them know there is support in the community for a sensible regulatory approach. For your party vote, you should look at the party policies to find out which party has a commitment to drug law reform in general – and ask that question of the candidates as well.

For more information about why cannabis law reformers should support this ‘world leading’ law:

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