A huge THANK YOU to all who participated in our recent New South Wales lobbying campaign!
The Drugs and Poisons Legislation Amendment (New Psychoactive and Other Substances) Bill 2013 was passed unamended by the NSW parliament, however:
As a result of our lobbying efforts the Happy Herb Company's concerns that ambiguous wording in the bill could have unintended consequences that would ban herbs and herbal extracts were cited in parliament. Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts' comments exempting herbs and herbal extracts from the new law were reiterated at that stage.
This is a win for HHC, our customers, and everybody in New South Wales who uses natural and nature-derived products. We'll continue to supply our customers with effective herbal products for their health, wellbeing, relaxation, energy, stress relief, and libido.
The Happy Herb Company welcome the government's intention to reduce harm caused by synthetic drugs, however:
it's becoming widely accepted amongst experts worldwide that prohibition is a failed strategy. Reputable international studies, and New Zealand’s experience over the last decade, demonstrate that reducing supply does not reduce demand – in fact it primarily benefits criminal gangs who operate in the unregulated black market. We feel that the government should pursue a strategy of regulating these substances rather than banning them;
the criminalisation of yet more natural plants (TGA schedule 9) is doubly ironic, as it is this tactic that originally led to the current proliferation of synthetic drugs.
Labor MP Amanda Fazio called the bill “crazy”, and John Kaye of the Greens also spoke out strongly against the bill. A Happy Herb Company press release said:
“Due public consultation and scrutiny – not dominated by the interests of those representing industrial medicine, but including experts from bodies such as The Happy Herb Company as well as scientists, doctors, academics and health professionals who specialise in harm minimisation – would have avoided the unintended consequences from some of the poorly worded sections of the legislation. The goal should be to support better health and wellbeing outcomes for all Australians.”
The Happy Herb Company will continue to fight for the public's right to use natural products which support their physical and mental wellbeing. This is more crucial than ever in the face of the pharmaceutical industry's strong influence in government plus the increasing cost of prescription medicines.
We urge the NSW Attorney General and legislators in other States and Territories who may be considering similar laws to ensure that they are crafted carefully on the basis of broad public consultation, so that new laws do not see harmless herbs – that have been mankind’s birthright for millennia – banned as 'innocent bystanders'.
DRUG LAW REFORM CITATIONS
'The prohibition of illicit drugs is killing and criminalising our children and we are all letting it happen.'
Report of a high level Australia21 Roundtable - authors Bob Douglas and David McDonald http://www.australia21.org.au/publications/press_releases/Australia21_Illicit_Drug_Policy_Report.pdf
'Drug Law Reform: Lessons from the New Zealand Experience' – UN Drug Control
In 2007, the Government of New Zealand entrusted an independent agency, the National Law Commission, to review the country’s drug law. The Commission will present a final report which is likely to feature a new approach to personal possession and use of drugs placing less emphasis on conviction and punishment and more on the delivery of effective treatment. New Zealand’s approach to drug law reform may provide lessons for other countries.