The Government will have the opportunity to take action against the growing damage caused by synthetic drugs when the Psychoactive Substances Amendment Bill returns to Parliament tomorrow for its second reading, Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown says.

“With more than 45 deaths attributed to synthetic drugs in the past 12 months it has become clear that this is a very serious issue facing our communities, and immediate action needs to be taken.

“I am calling on the three Government parties to support my Bill tomorrow and ensure it sees a third reading. Action needs to be taken to deter suppliers from dealing these drugs and we must give the courts the power to keep these criminals away from vulnerable New Zealanders.

“Too many Kiwis have died and too many families have been left heartbroken by the loss of their loved ones, all because of drug dealers who couldn’t care less about the harm they are causing.

“As a Parliament we need to stand up and say enough is enough. My Bill will increase the maximum penalties for those caught dealing synthetic drugs from 2 years in prison to 8 years but will more importantly send a message to these merchants of death that their enterprise will no longer be tolerated.

“New Zealanders need their Parliament to take real action against crime, and simply reclassifying a couple of synthetic strains won’t cut it. Illegal manufacturers have proven they have no difficulty reworking these drugs to bypass regulated strains, so blanket penalties on them and their suppliers are required to deal with the issue once and for all.

“I hope the Government will support my Bill as a significant first step towards tackling what is fast becoming an epidemic.”

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