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Expert Reactions

Police issue warning about synthetic cannabis – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on July 21st, 2017.

The Chief Coroner and NZ Police have issued a warning following at least seven recent deaths in Auckland that they say appears to be linked to the use of synthetic cannabis. The SMC asked experts to comment on the police announcement. Feel free to use these comments in your reporting. Dr Paul Quigley, emergency medicine specialist, Wellington […]

Synthetic cannabis restrictions linked to decreased psychiatric patients

Peter Griffin posted in on May 15th, 2015.

When new laws restricted the availability of synthetic cannabis in 2013 the number of people needing emergency psychiatric services after using synthetic cannabinoids reduced by half, say Dunedin researchers. The Psychoactive Substances Act limited the availability of synthetic drugs to 50 shops nationally, with products having to meet certain safety-requirements. Data from Dunedin’s Emergency Psychiatric Service was reviewed […]

Synthetic cannabis deaths in Australia – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on January 15th, 2015.

Two Australian men have died after suspected poisoning from a batch of synthetic cannabis. A 33-year old man from Queensland has died, and a second 41-year old man who was in critical condition has now also died, after suspected poisoning from a batch of synthetic cannabis. Both men fell ill in Mackay, in central Queensland, […]

Synthetic cannabinoid consequences – Prof Ian Shaw

John Kerr posted in on May 12th, 2014.

Professor Ian Shaw, a toxicologist at the University of Canterbury, gives a crash course in synthetic cannabis chemistry and addiction in an opinion article in the Press. An excerpt (read in full here): Drugs must be tested on animals OPINION: Toxicologist IAN SHAW explores the “legal high” debate and looks at how the products activate […]

Govt rules out animal testing for legal highs

John Kerr posted in on May 5th, 2014.

Prime Minister John Key has ruled out the use of animals in safety testing for new psychoactive substances. Speaking to Radio New Zealand and TVNZ Breakfast this morning, the Prime Minster stated that animal testing would not be part of a safety regime that requires manufactures of psychoactive substances to prove their products are low […]

‘Legal highs’ and animal testing – experts respond

Dacia Herbulock posted in on May 2nd, 2014.

New psychoactive substances laws require manufacturers to provide evidence that their product poses a ‘low risk’ to consumers before they can market it. Can they do it without animal testing? In the debate over the current legal status of novel psychoactive substances, questions have been raised over the ethics of using animal testing to prove […]

‘High as a Kiwi’ – NZ Drug reform featured in New Scientist

John Kerr posted in on March 17th, 2014.

A special report in New Scientist, ‘High as Kiwi‘, highlights the recent changes in New Zealand’s legislative approach to emerging psychoactive substances. Although the article is paywalled, the magazine’s freely available editorial speculates on how New Zealand’s new drug policies could play out. An excerpt (read in full here): Will NZ drug reform bring high […]

Kevin Tamati on animal testing – NZ Herald

John Kerr posted in on December 6th, 2012.

Writing in the New Zealand Herald, former league star and  Community Action Youth & Drugs spokesperson Kevin Tamati offers a considered view of animal testing. An excerpt (read in full here): Kevin Tamati: Animal testing of drugs justified to save lives I don’t really understand why people take drugs, but I accept that it’s a […]

‘Legal high’ DIME not so legal

John Kerr posted in on March 13th, 2012.

The active ingredient in a supposedly legal party drug sold in New Zealand has been revealed to be a Class C controlled substance. An analysis undertaken by the Crown Research Institute ESR, commissioned by TVNZ, indicated that the “party drug” product DIME contains the new drug 25C-NBOMe (also known as Pandora or Cimbi 82), which […]

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