Dunne: first drug notice issued to take out all synthetic cannabis

  • Peter Dunne

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne today announced that he has issued the first temporary class drug notice under the Misuse of Drugs Act that was amended last week, and that all Kronic and other synthetic cannabis products will be off the market by next Wednesday.

“The first temporary class drug notice is being gazetted today. The seven day period until it takes effect begins today,” Mr Dunne said.

“These products are untested as demonstrated by two recent recalls, and suppliers cannot experiment on our youth,” Mr Dunne said.

The 12-month notice lists 16 synthetic cannabis-like substances and makes them the equivalent of Class C1 drugs, thus making it illegal to manufacture, import, export, sell or supply the substances, or any product containing them from Wednesday, 16 August.

Mixes of these particular substances occur in all 43 synthetic cannabis and Kronic products currently on the market.

During the next 12 months, the listed substances will be assessed by an expert committee, which will advise whether long-term controls should be placed on them.

In leading the law change through Parliament last week, Mr Dunne said the notices were an interim measure while legislation is prepared along the lines of the Law Commission’s recommendation to reverse the onus of proof so the manufacturers and distributors of psychoactive substances will have to prove they are safe before they go on the market.

Mr Dunne said he had noted that the industry was saying that it would simply bring in new products to replace those being banned.

“Well, basically, I say to them: make my day. We have got this covered. Any new unproven product will get the same treatment.

“The industry needs to get the message – the game is over. You have not behaved responsibly at any point and we have taken matters out of your hands.”

Mr Dunne said those who had criticised the Government for not moving fast enough should now be beginning to appreciate that it was important to do the job properly.

“Sometimes with legislation you do it fast or you do it right – we have done it right.

“Hastily developed overseas legislation that some held up as the example to follow is already failing as new products with new ingredients are simply going around the law.

“Our law means we can cut them off at the chase. We can respond very quickly to any psychoactive substances they want to throw our way, and basically ban them immediately,” Mr Dunne said.