The Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs (IGCD) has agreed to write to the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee (NDPSC) to have the ingredients of a herbal tonic compound known as ‘Kronic’ listed as poisons. The IGCD also agreed to develop ‘better’ regulation of derivative or ‘analogue’ drugs. The decisions were taken at a meeting in Darwin yesterday.
Kronic is being sold mainly through adult shops in Australia as a mild relaxant, and aphrodisiac with mood altering qualities similar to a glass of wine.
In April 2010, the New Zealand government’s Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs rated Kronic as a ‘D’ level drug at the same time as they listed alcohol as a ‘B’ level drug. In rating Kronic as substantially less harmful than alcohol, the New Zealand government nonetheless rated the product as an R18+ one and have now legislated that it only be sold from restricted premises like adult shops.
Australian Sex Party President Fiona Patten said that the actions of the IGCD in pushing to list the individual ingredients of Kronic as poisons were based on hearsay and innuendo from tabloid newspapers, without any proof of harm or ill effects. “This product has been rated as less harmful than alcohol by a panel of health experts in New Zealand but is threatened with criminal sanctions in Australia by a group of mostly police officers and law makers”, she said. “Will the government now ban bananas because some people smoke the inside of the skins (mellow yellow), or nutmegs because some people ingest them to get a mild high? Will they look at banning potatoes because the little green blemishes are rumoured to cause cancer?”
Ms Patten said that containing the sale of Kronic and other adult products to adult restricted premises was the most responsible way of dealing with the product and as long as it had warnings on the packaging about not driving or using heavy machinery, government had no right to start banning basic substances derived from harmless plants. She said that many people who were trying to give up marihuana were finding Kronic an excellent way to scale back their usage.
“People have a right to self medicate and alter their moods with food and other substances as long as there is no proven and obvious harm from their use”, she said. “Prohibition has proved to be a failure time and time again and simply makes organised crime rich. We need to keep all these mild drugs legal but restricted and out of the reach of children.”
She said that the discussion over Kronic fed into a wider debate over government plans to ban popular backyard plants. “The Australian government is already considering a ban on a number of common plant products like wattle seeds and common phalaris grass seeds because one or more of the active ingredients could be used in some situations to make people more relaxed or slightly euphoric”, she said. “Where will this all end?”