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Designer drugs banned in New Zealand after outcry

New Zealand Health Minister Tony Ryall talks about designer drugs Wednesday, May 7, 2014, in Wellington, New Zealand. (AP/Drew Castellaw)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand: New Zealand has reversed course on allowing some designer drugs to be legally sold after a public outcry about the toll they were taking.

A law change Wednesday will ban the sale and possession of all synthetic drugs. That ends the sale of 36 substances, many of which had been designed to mimic marijuana.

The changes come after some people claimed the drugs were addictive and were causing community disorder and violence.

The country last year gained international attention after enacting a novel new law that allowed those synthetic drugs thought to be low-risk to be sold while awaiting pharmaceutical-style testing.

The law still allows manufacturers to sell the drugs if they can prove them safe through testing. But health officials have yet to develop testing protocols.

 

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