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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 1 Hansard (16 February) . . Page.. 409..


Answers to questions

Kava—legislation and health impacts (Question No 1602) (Revised answer)

Ms Bresnan asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 30 March 2011:

(1) Is the drinking of Kava, where it has been produced via cold water extraction of the peeled root, for cultural purposes in the ACT currently illegal; if so, what are the penalty units for not adhering to this law.

(2) Is the (a) supply and (b) sale of Kava, where it has been produced via cold water extraction of the peeled root, in the ACT currently illegal; if so, what are the penalty units for not adhering to these laws.

(3) What specific clauses, of which regulations and legislation, gives effect to the rulings referred to in parts (1) and (2).

(4) Does the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code on Kava, Standard 2.6.3, apply in the ACT, to permit for the sale of Kava where it is produced via cold water extraction of the peeled root; if not, why not.

(5) What specific evidence has the ACT Government relied on to conclude that the drinking of Kava has adverse health effects on Pacific Islander people who use it for cultural purposes.

(6) What evidence does the ACT Government have to show that the drinking of Kava in the form referred to in part (1) has more severe health impacts than standard alcohols such as beer and wine and what is the impact in comparison to stronger alcohols such as spirits.

(7) What formal consultation and public dialogue did the ACT Government conduct with Pacific Island communities in the ACT before the ACT Government adopted Federal positions on Kava in (a) 2004, (b) 2008 and (c) 2009.

(8) What formal consultation and public dialogue did the ACT Government conduct with Pacific Island communities in the ACT on Kava in the lead up to the 2011 Multicultural Festival.

Ms Gallagher: I am advised that the answer to the Member's question is as follows:

(1) The drinking of kava root extracts is not illegal in the ACT, however restrictions are in force to the extent that kava is listed as a prescription only medicine, and as such needs to be used in accordance with a valid prescription. The administration of a prescription only medicine to oneself without a prescription is an offence attracting a maximum penalty of 100 penalty units and/or imprisonment for 1 year (s37 MPTG Act).

(2) The supply and sale of kava root extracts is not illegal in the ACT, however as in question 1, restrictions are in force such that supply or sale of kava needs to be in accordance with a valid prescription. This restriction is irrespective of whether the kava is supplied for sale. The supply (including sale) of a prescription only medicine


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