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Govt bans more legal high chemicals

Last updated 05:00 01/05/2013

The government has banned two more chemicals found in former legal high K2.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said the ban on BB-22 and 5F-AKB48 - both found in synthetic cannabis K2 products - comes into force from May 9.

The government banned all existing synthetic cannabis products in 2011. But reformulated products were introduced for sale, avoiding the ban.

The new Temporary Class Drug Notice brings to 35 the number of substances banned under temporary notices. More than 50 products containing those substances are now off the market, Dunne said.

The ban makes it illegal to import, manufacture, sell or supply the substances, with a maximum penalty of 8 years in jail.

"This is another blow to the industry and one of many we have delivered - but I fully acknowledge it is more of the cat-and-mouse game until we can deliver the killer punch in August when the Psychoactive Substances Bill will become law," he added.

Public submissions on the legislation close tomorrow. The Health Select Committee is due to report the Bill back to Parliament in mid-June.

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"The Health Ministry considers that these particular substances pose a risk at least comparable to other already banned synthetic cannabis substances, therefore I have made the decision that it needs to be banned," Dunne said.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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