Editorial: Will legal highs last?

Stuff co.nz 21 April 2014
Somewhat unwittingly, New Zealand has begun a world-leading experiment in drug liberalisation.

The country now allows more than 20 types of synthetic cannabis to be sold – with explicit official approval.

Sellers and manufacturers are registered with the Ministry of Health, the drugs’ ingredients are listed online, and they are subject to monitoring.

Now, this is just a temporary measure – an interim regime established by last year’s Psychoactive Substances Act. (Before the act passed, there were many more such drugs available, outside any oversight.)

When the law properly gets going, likely later this year, all bets are off again – only psychoactive products that pass stringent new tests will be able to be sold.

Observers think many, perhaps all, of the fake cannabis products won’t make it back on the shelves.

But this begs the question: why, exactly, are they still on sale now?