Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


“Legal Highs” – What Next?

“Legal Highs” – What Next?

Legal highs are off the shelf for now, thanks to the Government’s temporary ban. Your local councillors are keen to use the breathing space to find out what the community wants the Council to do to control the availability of psychoactive substances once new products have been approved for sale.

Crs Merv Aoake, Ferg Ferguson, Ella Lawton and Cath Gilmour have organised a public meeting in Queenstown and a joint forum in Wanaka, to hear about the impact psychoactive substances – widely known as “legal highs” – have had on our community. It’s a chance for people to share their experiences, hear from the police and clinicians about the effects of legal highs, and find out what ability the Council has to control them.

In Wanaka, the legal high discussion will take place within the Wanaka Alcohol Group’s first Community Forum, which will continue the conversation about alcohol and drugs in the community.

“There’s no doubt psychoactive substances will be back on the streets in Queenstown and Wanaka – probably within a year,” Cr Cath Gilmour says. “We’re hearing from the agencies who take care of those suffering from addiction and withdrawal that if we don’t have controls in place, then retailers forced out of other centres will be looking to stake a claim on what it perceived to be a very lucrative market here.”

At present, the law does not allow Councils to place an outright ban on the sale of psychoactive substances that have been approved for sale under the Government’s testing and approval regime. There are lesser restrictions Councils can impose, through a bylaw or a Local Approved Product Policy (LAPP), that would prevent substances being sold, distributed or used in certain places. However, it will take months to go through the legal process needed to put any such measures in place.

“If we can get a clear steer from the community that people want the Council to put firm controls in place, then it’s possible we could have a draft LAPP on the Council agenda as early as next month,” Cr Gilmour says.

The first meetings is at the Queenstown Events Centre, Frankton, on Thursday 12 June from 7-9pm in the Mezzanine Meeting Room. The joint forum with the Wanaka Alcohol Group is at the Lake Wanaka Centre, Wanaka, on Wednesday 18 June from 7-9pm in the Armstrong Room.

Speakers will include representatives of the Police, clinicians, QLDC and also a former addict, who will talk about the impact “legal highs” had on her life.

• Psychoactive substances are known to have caused considerable damage in the Queenstown Lakes District community, including violence, psychosis, seizures, hospitalisation, anxiety and dishonesty offences.

• Until the Government introduced a ban last month, Queenstown had a retail shop for psychoactive substances; a warehouse for an Internet-based company selling psychoactive substances; and a manufacturing base for these substances. Under existing law, all three should not be producing, distributing or selling psychoactive substances.

• The Council has a limited number of options, including introducing a Local Approved Product Policy (LAPP) and amending the existing Control of Activities and Obstructions in Public Places Bylaw to prohibit the use, distribution or sale of any mind-altering substances in a public place. (Auckland Council has recently introduced a similar bylaw)

• Introducing or amending such policies and bylaws requires extensive public consultation and can take months to finalise. By beginning pre-consultation now, the Council aims to have effective measures in place to control the sale and public use of psychoactive substances by the time products are back on the market.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Anne Tolley’s
Callous Folly

Years ago, I remember someone in the Heath Ministry telling me off the record that regulatory oversight in this country largely consisted in ‘waiting for something to turn green or fall off somebody’ before the authorities would swing into action...

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

 

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Housing MPs: New Building(s) For Parliament

A new building will be erected on Parliament grounds to house Members of Parliament and their staff who currently work in leased accommodation in Bowen House. The plan has cross-Party support, apart from NZ First, said Parliament’s Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news