Darroch Ball, Law and Order Spokesperson
New Zealand First welcomes the Government’s tabling of wide-ranging legislation to tackle the escalating issue of synthetic drug use in this country.
The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill, introduced today, shifts two key synthetics - 5F-ADB and AMB-FUBINACA - into the Class A drug category and creates a temporary category, C1, allowing new drugs to be easily brought in under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
These changes give police greater powers of search and seizure in order to interrupt supply, and the courts serious sentencing options - up to life imprisonment.
At the same time, the law seeks to reaffirm the discretion police can use in deciding whether to prosecute offenders or refer them for treatment and therapy. It is backed by funding of $16.6 million to boost community addiction treatment services.
“We endorse this move to toughen up on the suppliers of synthetics with a potential maximum sentence of life in prison, but also back the more holistic approach the Bill takes in providing greater opportunity to rehabilitate users,” says Law and Order Spokesperson Darroch Ball.
“Tinkering with the law will not achieve a thing in the fight against these poisons. This Bill takes a much-needed bold but balanced approach to dealing with the scourge of synthetic drug use.”