Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown’s Members Bill to toughen up the penalty for suppliers of synthetic drugs has passed its first reading in Parliament.
His Psychoactive Substances (Increasing Penalty for Supply and Distribution) Amendment Bill will increase the penalty for suppliers of synthetic drugs from a maximum of two years’ imprisonment to a maximum of eight years.
“Psychoactive substances, like synthetic cannabis, have been wreaking havoc in communities across the country and it’s time we cracked down on those who peddle these dangerous drugs,” said Brown.
The Bill, which went through yesterday will amend the Psychoactive Substances Act to bring the penalty for those convicted of supplying illegal psychoactive substances into line with the penalty for those convicted of supplying Class C drugs.
“It aims to not only take these suppliers off the streets, but to deter others from producing and/or supplying these drugs,” Brown said.
“I’ve heard from far too many families who have lost loved ones to synthetic drugs. There were over 20 reported deaths associated with synthetic drugs over the last year – we can’t allow this to continue.
“It’s no surprise the soft-on-crime Labour and Green parties opposed my Bill, but I’m pleased it will be going to Select Committee where we will have the opportunity to hear first-hand from families affected by synthetic cannabis.”