So it’s been a busy week in the legal high scene. DMAA also known as 1,3-dimethylamylamine was added to the Gazzette, and placed on a Temporary Class Drug Notice. The common party pill ingredient will be illegal to sell from April 9.
Now it’s worth mentioning that all evidence seems to indicate DMAA has a similar safety profile to caffeine - that is, as a stimulant, reasonable safe. Of course bans tend to lead to development, and this ban has missed an opportunity to slow that product development with DMAA.
Not to mention that when BZP was banned, there was a large scientifically proven increase in MDMA and methamphetamine use. Given the poor state of the pill scene, where you don’t know what your getting, and the addictiveness of methamphetamine, this no question that this move could cause harm on some level.
A new legal high called DIME has been sold, discussed intensely here on TripMe, until the issue came to the awareness of Close Up. The active chemical in DIME is apparently, 25c-nbome, which Close Up confirmed with an ESR test. Now the close-up article has faults, such as a poor characterisation of psychedelics and other ambiguities about the substances classification – but they assert that DIME is an illegal drug analogue under our NZ analogue laws.
However it appears, legally the matter may not be so simple, it may be that DIME is sufficiently different from any illegal drug. Only time and the courts will decide, especially as our analogue laws are vague to begin with.
Temporary Class Drug Notices
Peter Dunne has been running around quite pleased with himself that he has temporarily addressed the legal high issue with the temporary bans. It was personally most pleasing when Close Up asked Dunne, where exactly his new safety law was – Dunne is not solving the situation at all, so thank you Close Up for calling him out on that!
Such complex laws often take two years to pass from first reading. It hasn’t had its first reading yet, or even, as far as I know, been partially written. The whole purpose of the temporary bans was to last until the safety law could be in place – and yet this is something we hear nothing about the progress of.
These Temporary Class Drug Notices last for one year. The law stipulates they can only be renewed once, for one additional year. Because the first Notices where handed out at the end of last year, those initial temporary bans, for compounds like JWH-018 will expire at the end of next year – well before its likely any progress will be made on the law commission recommendations for legal high safety testing.
Of course if this situation went on forever (thank god it wont!), because these instant and constantly increasing bans force development, moreso because the bans are so quick and numerous: If we keep relying on this style of approach, the market could be flooded with novel and unknown substances from the forced development.
Its well known than the legal high industry used DMAA because it was low-level, and thus shouldnt have pushed any buttons - they wanted it to remain legal, and they had and have other options they would not release because of this attempt to appease. If anything they introduce will automatically be banned, why bother trying to appease the goverment or masses? There would be less point in doing this, and more motive to make more short term profits.
Of course one also still wonders at the ethics of having one man capable of banning anything with no consultation in just one week. The idea, of one rather unqualified person, deciding what is safe for everyone else, is scarily like some form of dictatorship. For everyones benefit, I hope they get right onto this new law.
Drug Law ambiguities
Something that I have been giving some thought this week, is just how ambiguous, and selectively applied our drug laws are. It began with talking about DMAA on the forum. Apparently it may occur naturally in Geranium. Yet, geranium essential oil is very unlikely to be prosecuted despite containing the soon to be class drug. Confusing? Well, prepared to be more confused.
When our government was banning GHB and the like, they saw fit to make the commonly occurring, amino acid, GABA also class B. Yes GHB occurs in trace amount in wine, as well as occurring in meat – and yes that’s a little odd for an illegal banned drug – but even weirder, GABA occurs in high amounts in some foods, like brown rice, and is sold in pure synthetic form in health food stores. So, they sell pure synthetic class B drugs at your health food store – but because the law is used rather than followed, they will never be prosecuted. Here's an example of a local vendor selling the class B drug.
It makes one wonder why they bother having drug laws at all, if they are going to ignore it most of the time, and selectively choose, on personal whim, when to prosecute. I had once naively thought that the law specifically defined what was illegal and what isn’t. Rather it seems, at least with drug law, it tries to catch everything, just in case the prosecuters don’t like you for some reason. I can't even get my head around at how unevenly applied the law is. Something worth keeping in mind, if your trying to figure out in black and white what the Misuse of Drugs act actually says, especially given what happened with DIME.