CANTA keeps it real. We know there’s a high (lol) probability you’re going to cross paths with drugs, or attempt drugs, or maybe even be on drugs while you read this.

We don’t advocate illegal drug use whatsoever, but we can at least make sure you know what you’re up to, and how to keep safe and be responsible.

Firstly, here’s the lowdown on drugs and the ramifications you could face.


The New Zealand Police say there is a wide range of controlled and illegal drugs, which the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 classifies according to the level of risk of harm they pose to people misusing them.

Class A (very high risk):


magic mushrooms



LSD (Acid)

Class B (high risk):

cannabis oil





amphetamine-type substances

Class C (moderate risk):

cannabis seed

cannabis plant


Drugs classified by effect

Drugs can be classified by the effects they have on the human central nervous system.

  • depressants
  • cannabis
  • benzodiazepines
  • heroin and opiates
  • inhalants and solvents
  • alcohol
  • hallucinogens
  • LSD
  • ecstasy
  • stimulants
  • methamphetamines
  • cocaine
  • party pills.

Drug offences

It is an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 to use, possess, cultivate or traffic (deal) in illegal drugs.


Use includes smoking, inhaling fumes, injecting and ingesting or otherwise introducing a drug of dependence into a person’s body (including another person’s body).


This means having control or custody of a drug. Knowledge of such possession must be proven in court. Possession applies to both drugs found on a person or on their property, if it is proven that the drugs belong to that person.


Police searches

  • Police can search you, your bag or vehicle:
  • if you let them
  • or they arrest you
  • or they have a search warrant
  • or they have ‘reasonable grounds’ for believing that you have drugs or there are drugs at the place you’re at.

Police must tell you if they are searching under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

‘Reasonable grounds’ are things like smelling or seeing drugs on you, seeing you using drugs or seeing you behaving as if stoned.

Usually only a policewoman can search you if you are female.

Police can only search inside your mouth if you agree.

You can only be searched internally (and only by a medical practitioner) if you have been arrested and Police have reasonable grounds to believe you have drugs within your body.

Some drug offences and maximum penalties


Class A 6 months imprisonment and/or $1,000 fine

Class B 3 months imprisonment and/or $500 fine

Class C 3 months imprisonment and/or $500 fine

Possession of instruments for the purpose of taking drugs 
(eg, a pipe, bong, needles, syringes, spotting knife)

One year imprisonment and/or $500 fine

Cultivation of prohibited plants

Indictment – seven years’ imprisonment. Summarily – two years jail and/or $2,000 fine

Having in your possession seed or fruit of a prohibited plant

One year imprisonment and/or $500 fine


Temporary Class Drug Notices

A lot of substances are not banned by laws covering the misuse of drugs. These are your legal highs, or party pills.

These may have a ‘herbal’ origin or be produced in a laboratory, and are often sprayed onto carrier plant material. It is often hard to know what the active ingredients are and what the effect of taking them might be.

Many of these so-called ‘legal highs’ are now illegal.

The Ministry of Health has issued numerous Temporary Class Drug Notices that make these party pills illegal also.


MORE INFO: – search Temporary Class Drug Notices

Keeping you and your mates safe:

Make sure you know what you’re taking. We don’t want you to do drugs, but at the least know what you’re putting in your body!

Hydrate yo self too! Drink water – but not too much. Stick to a glass an hour.

Does someone sober knows what you’re up to? If not, now’s the time to enlist a mate. Think of it as a sober driver, without any driving.

When you’re with your mates, stick with them. Don’t let them wander off. Drugs, particularly hallucinogens can turn on you if you’re alone. That’s dangerous.

Have a back-up plan too – yeah yeah, someone’s gotta be the mum for the night. Make sure you have a plan on how you and your friends will get home – keep aside money for bus fares or a taxi, or walk home together. Have a ‘worst case scenario’ for a meeting point at the end of the night.

Finally – don’t mess around. If someone collapses and is unconscious, call 111 immediately and ask for an ambulance.