Mike Moreu echoes my thought almost exactly. Emphasis mine.
… I don’t mind that BZP has been outlawed, in fact I wish it had been done ages ago. Cattle drench can’t be good for humans, and a major New Zealand study into its effects had to be aborted at the start because it was deemed too dangerous to continue. …
[snip] I disagree that people will just go out and buy their party pills illegally. The fact that the governmetn tollerated this industry, even while it grew up like so many weeds in a garden is that being legal lent these pills an air of legitimacy, one they did not deserve.
I do not believe that most people who took them will suddenly decide to break the law, because they only took these pills because they were within the law doing so. However, that remains to be seen.
…You could powder up your own faeces and sell it in unmarked capsules as a “herbal supplement,” and as long as it didn’t kill anyone you’d probably get away with it for a while. Deputy Health Minister Jim Anderton pointed this out, even as he triumphantly announced the prohibition of BZP on April 1st, and I thought that was a great subject for a cartoon. With stories of shops selling the last of their BZP stock at fire sale prices while importing new drugs at the same time, the image that sprang to mind was of a man battling the lengendary Hydra, whose seven heads could multiply when chopped off.
In this case, as with the mythical beast, chopping the heads will do nothing while the body remains intact.
In my opinion, the real root problem that has to be addressed is why do people think they need to get high on something? What is it about all these people that they feel the need to dose up on cattle drench? Why did these shops spring up so quickly?
Because, until you address that problem, then you’re just going to chop off head after head, trying to protect the population from itself.