Matters of Concern in the NZ Pschoactive Substances Bill:
ALL ‘legal high’ substances will be banned under the new legislation until they have been proven safe enough to be regulated.
The criteria for regulation will be lengthy, costly and strict.
Clause 62 Supply of unapproved substance is an offence subject to a max of 2 years prison
Clause 63 Personal possession of any unapproved substance is an offence subject to a max. penalty of $500
Clause 69 Empowers the police or appointed ‘Enforcement Officers’ to enter premises without a warrant on suspicion of unapproved substances
Clause 11 The Advisory Committee to oversee new approved and unapproved ‘legalhighs’ specifies only medical personnel ‘pharmacology, toxicology, neuroscience & medicine’ not mention of drug workers, drug user, sociologist, criminologist etc.
This is hardly progress. It’d be foolish to swallow this hook with the bait of regulation. What this Bill effectively does is give police and appointed ‘Enforcement’ officers new powers by making anyone who has an unapproved substance or who supplies at risk of fine/prison – this is extending prohibition. Rather than learning to live with drugs this Bill will widen the net of the failed war on drugs – with approved and unapproved mirroring the division between commercially supported legal drugs and tough law enforcement and punishment against illegal drugs.
Have a listen to what the government minister Peter Dunne hope’s it will achieve:
A critical look at New Zealand’s much hailed drug policy reform http://sco.lt/8iv5AP
See on www.legislation.govt.nz