Why is New Zealand doing this?
According to the latest information from the Ministry of Health, round 9 p.c of New Zealanders have used a bootleg drug up to now 12 months, with hashish the preferred. Synthetic hashish is a typical downside, with greater than 40 deaths related to the drug reported in 2018. (The nation narrowly voted in opposition to legalizing marijuana in a referendum final 12 months.) Drugs are the third most typical purpose younger persons are kicked out of faculty.
While New Zealand has lengthy struggled with methamphetamine abuse, get together medication are more and more frequent. In 2019, the New Zealand police seized greater than two million Ecstasy tablets and their equivalents, up 560 p.c from 2018.
It is these get together medication specifically which have resulted in damage or loss of life, generally on account of folks taking mislabeled or contaminated medication. This 12 months, KnowYourStuff obtained nearly 1,000 messages from festivalgoers who reported atypical reactions to medication bought to them as MDMA, together with paranoia, seizures, extreme nausea and days of insomnia. The medication are believed to have been contaminated with artificial cathinones.
Speaking in Parliament final 12 months, Andrew Little, the minister of well being, emphasised that the present New Zealand authorities noticed drug coverage as a well being matter slightly than a felony one.
A prosecution-led method has not labored, he stated, including: “It’s not changing. If we want to change behaviors, then we’ve got to take a different approach.”
But does it work?
The information is spotty, however promising.
A survey from Victoria University discovered that 68 p.c of surveyed festivalgoers who used the testing companies modified their conduct, with some lowering the quantity they took whereas others disposed of their medication altogether.
The same research held at a competition in Canberra, Australia, in 2019 discovered that “all those who had a very dangerous substance detected disposed of that drug in the amnesty bin.”