Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Party pill regulation continues

Having succeeded swimmingly in not reducing harm by banning BZP, the Dominion Post reports that the Health Ministry is now proposing a different approach to other party pills. Age restrictions, labelling requirements and licences to sell them (all stuff to make a bureaucrat wet himself). Now while I'd agree with an age restriction, labelling requirements seems over the top and having licences to sell something isn't proven to do much other than put up the price and start creating a black market - BUT my big question is this. Why hasn't BZP simply been treated the same way? Why not legalise BZP, put an age restriction on it and regulate it?
If ACC was abolished, then those who sell such products would face the risk of damaging lawsuits for causing personal injury by accident - in other words, just like most countries in the Western world. Whilst the ACC folly continues, the arguments for some regulation of substances remain.
However, my question remains - if party pills are to be controlled like alcohol, why not make extend this to BZP, and remove the ban?


ZenTiger said...

How do you handle people on a benefit that declare bankruptcy or just don't pay? Jail time perhaps?

How do you handle people that hide behind trust funds? Jail time perhaps?

If the victim had the ability to chose jail time over getting no money (anyway) that might be some form of justice, but would not pay their medical bills. They'd need to rely on health insurance, something not every-one budgets for.

The thing is, most people go with the "it will never happen to me" and having a deterrent at the end of the crash may not be deterrent enough. What are your suggestions?

ZenTiger said...

I should add that: it's not clear to me why you think the seller is responsible for the taker to ignore the "use this way" directions.

You aren't a lawyer during the day by any chance? Lawyers would love this arrangement, not sure everyone else benefits to the same degree :-)

Libertyscott said...

I am not clear what I am "handling" them for, unless you talking about personal injury suits. As a victim, I'd expect you to have your own accident insurance to cover these consequences. Your insurer would talk to the insurer of the other party or seek to claim if possible.

Given you currently have compulsory accident insurance under ACC, you would simply take this over. Now before the right to sue is reinstated, ACC should be fully opened up to competition and people should more explicitly choose their insurer against accidents, as this exposes people to paying for it and considering their own risk. (Taking party pills may increase your premiums of course, as could drinking alcohol).

I don't think sellers are responsible for consumers failing to follow instructions on packets. I do think they are responsible if they sell a product making false claims or not warning of reasonable consequences of using the product.

but um, I don't practice as a lawyer but I am qualified. Besides I live in the UK where what I describe is the status quo.