Synthetic drug supplier bill passes first reading

National MP Simeon Brown’s Member’s Bill that proposes a quadrupling of maximum prison sentences (to eight years) for suppliers of synthetic drugs  passed it’s first reading today, with the support of NZ First.

I replied to that:

It’s addressing the wrong problem the wrong way. It might crowd prisons a bit more but doesn’t address the core problems that all parties keep avoiding, drug laws that are failing badly.

Drug Foundation:  Clearing the air on ‘synthetic cannabis’: a primer

Executive summary:

  • Synthetic cannabinoids appeared in Europe in 2005 and the following year in New Zealand.
  • The chemicals in illicit smoking packets in 2017 are different to – and very likely more dangerous than – those on the market before the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013, and those briefly regulated under the Act.
  • The recent “bad batch” in Auckland is likely to be “bad” because of the way it’s dosed, rather than the presence of impurities or contaminants.
  • The wave of acute ED presentations and deaths in Auckland is not a nationwide problem. Even in Auckland, detox and services are seeing fewer people dependent on synthetic cannabis than they were in 2014.
  • Acute presentations have come in waves in other countries too.
  • Legalising natural cannabis now isn’t likely to be a magic wand.

7 Comments

  1. Zedd

     /  March 21, 2018

    I wrote in open forum..
    Natl doing the tough on crime & soft on drugs rhetoric, even though it was Dunne, as part of the previous Nat-led Govt. who introduced the law, this bill amends. Who claimed that synthetics were less harmful than the natural herb.. WRONG !!
    But there is still a wide misconception that they are, much the same & should be treated as such.. again WRONG !!!

  2. Kevin

     /  March 22, 2018

    This is just feel good legislation that won’t achieve anything. The answer is to legalise and regulate both synthetic and natural cannabis. When given the choice users will buy from a legal market rather than a blackmarket one. By regulating we can control where it can be sold, who to, and how strong it is.

    • Zedd

       /  March 22, 2018

      Even Dunne has come out on TV this a.m. & said that the bill will do nothing to prevent drug use or harm. BUT he stopped short saying anything about regulating natural cannabis, as many others are ‘whispering’ as the probable real solution to these synthetics :/

      • Kevin

         /  March 22, 2018

        One thing the government can do is introduce separate and much harsher penalties for selling to minors. This seems to be a bit of a no-brainer to me and something not even the the most staunchest Prohibitionist would object to.

        • Zedd

           /  March 22, 2018

          @kevin

          Any idea of prohibition should be about keeping drugs/alcohol away from youth/kids (using Education & health as first options) as the priority.. but unfortunately when it comes to cannabis & even synthetics etc. Some folks still seem to think ZERO-tolerance is the solution; even adults are being denied.. we cant be trusted to use anything besides Alcohol & Tobacco responsibly ?
          This bill just shows that Natl/NZF still think this way. 😦

          It was interesting that Mr Seymour stayed true to ACTs anti-Drug war/libertarian stand & voted against the bill, with Lab/Grns. 🙂

  1. Synthetic drug supplier bill passes first reading — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition