Saturday, May 25, 2024

Government must act now to reduce synthetic drug harm

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Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown wants harsher penalties for those supplying synthetic drugs. Photo supplied. 

The Coroner’s report released last Friday showing there had been between 40-45 deaths in the last 12 months as a result of synthetic drug use is cause for great concern, and action needs to be taken now, Simeon Brown, MP for Pakuranga says.

“We cannot stand idly by as more people die and families are hurt when we can do something about it. My Members Bill, which would amend the Psychoactive Substances Act to increase the penalties for supplying these synthetic drugs, is a big first step in tackling this issue,” he says.

St John Ambulance receives around 30 callouts a week related to synthetic drug use, as batches are becoming increasingly potent and dangerous and are doing more harm to New Zealanders.

“My Psychoactive Substances (Increasing Penalty for Supply and Distribution) Amendment Bill would increase the maximum jail sentence for selling or supplying synthetic drugs from two years to eight years,” says Brown.

“This would give police stronger powers to crack down on suppliers and help deter drug dealers in New Zealand from selling these harmful substances.

“These drugs are a serious blight on our society. Parliament needs to get tougher on this issue fast before further irreparable harm is done.”

His Bill will put the dealers of these substances on notice and ensure the justice system has the tools to more appropriately deal with the people who clearly don’t care about the harm they’re causing.

“I am once again calling on the Government to support my Bill when it returns to Parliament for its second and third readings, as urgent action needs to be taken to protect New Zealanders from what is quickly becoming a deadly epidemic.”

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