An indication from the Government that it will reclassify some synthetic drugs as Class A is being welcomed by National but it doesn’t go far enough, National’s MP for Pakuranga Simeon Brown says.
“Today we heard of yet another death from these insidious drugs. This year more than 45 people have died. In the past fortnight alone Christchurch has seen at least 19 people affected by toxicity from synthetic drugs with two people in intensive care.
“Health Minister David Clark has said that he will ask his cabinet colleagues to reclassify two synthetic cannabinoids as Class A which is a positive step forward.
“The problem is that drug dealers can then simply change their recipes. They don’t care if they ruin lives and cause misery as long as they’re making money. By only increasing the penalty for some synthetic drugs, dealers will avoid these penalties by simply changing the ingredients.
“In response to Written Parliamentary Questions Dr Clark has also told me that he hasn’t had a single meeting with anyone outside Government about the issue. The Minister should be getting expert advice on this very serious issue.
“National has committed to signing up to a global effort to combat the manufacture and supply of drugs alongside 120 other countries, but the Labour-led Government won’t even consider being part of it. The effort is a broad approach which would include rehabilitation and education.
“I once again urge the Government to support my Bill which is back before Parliament this month. My Bill will increase the penalties for those who manufacture and supply all synthetic drugs which destroy people’s lives.”