Drug and Substance Checking Legislation Bill passes into law

Volunteer drug checking organisation KnowYourStuffNZ welcomes the news that drug checking will become permanently legal, with the passing of the Drug and Substance Checking Legislation Bill through its third reading. Aotearoa New Zealand is the first country in the world to have explicitly legal drug checking.

“The Act will provide permanent legal standing for our service,” says KnowYourStuffNZ Managing Director Wendy Allison, “and will allow other organisations to provide drug checking services as well. This will help ensure this vital service is accessible to more communities, and ultimately prevent more drug related harm.”

The law change provides legal certainty for drug checking organisations like KnowYourStuffNZ into the 2021/22 festival season and beyond. It also facilitates the development of a regulatory framework to ensure that the public can access high quality, reliable, and effective drug checking services on an ongoing basis as new providers move into this emerging field. KnowYourStuffNZ will be providing its 100th service session this weekend in Auckland.

KnowYourStuffNZ will continue to advocate for a harm reduction approach to drug use in Aotearoa. “There’s plenty of work still to do,” says Allison, “But this feels like quite an achievement. We have been working towards this for seven years and so many people have worked so hard to get us to this point. Today we’re celebrating our success.”

Drug checking services are an effective tool for behaviour change through provision of factual, unbiased information about drugs. Independent research by Victoria University found that 87% of people who had their substances checked by KnowYourStuffNZ had improved knowledge of harm reduction, and 50-60% of people chose not to take drugs that were not the expected substance.

Contact for enquiries: Wendy Allison, Managing Director, KnowYourStuffNZ
021 169 5973
media@knowyourstuff.nz

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