A few weeks ago, my Members Bill was drawn from the ballot to go before the House of Representatives.
This Bill is called the Psychoactive Substances (Increasing Penalty for Supply and Distribution) Amendment Bill and is designed to increase the penalties for those found guilty of supplying these harmful drugs.
We need to crack down on the supply of psychoactive substances and ensure that those supplying them are sentenced appropriately, taking into account the awful harm they are causing in the community.
There have been a number of deaths attributed to the use of these drugs, and the current maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment does not fit the crime.
My Bill will increase the penalties associated with the already-illegal distribution of psychoactive drugs, pushing the maximum jail term from two years to eight years.
This would bring it in line with the penalties for the supply of Class C drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, and my hope is that this will serve as a further deterrent to those who are irresponsibly providing them.
We also need to promote better ways of helping those who are suffering and provide support to their families.
Last week I launched a petition to sit alongside my Bill, which asks that Parliament open a select committee inquiry to look into the care provided to those who are addicted to these drugs and make recommendations about what more we can do to help.
These drugs are affecting communities and families across New Zealand, so I encourage anyone who is concerned to sign this petition so that we can crack down on the suppliers of these drugs, and support those who are suffering from them.
You can sign the petition on my website, simeonbrown.national.org.nz
MP for Pakuranga