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Anderton thanks Health Committee for work on bill

Monday 23 2005 Media release

Anderton thanks Health Committee for good work on Misuse of Drugs Bill

Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton today expressed his appreciation for the hard work of Parliament's multi-party Health select committee after it reported his Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill (No 3) back to Parliament.

"This Bill, with Parliament's support, will amend the presumption of supply quantity for methamphetamine, it will create new offences for the importing and exporting of dangerous precursor substances and it will also create powers of search and seizure without warrant for precursor substances. With Parliament's support, we will also soon have the legal power to regulate BZP and similar substances by a new restricted substances amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act," Jim Anderton said.

"After listening to the public's submissions, and reading newspaper reports like the front page story in today's Christchurch Press, I am confident that every Member of Parliament now agrees that substances like BZP require regulation. At the very least, the public deserve to know that party pills such as BZP won't be sold to minors and that the manufacture, sale and marketing of BZP will in the future be done within guidelines containing information on the substance and its potential risks," he said.

"The Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs, which last year recommended to me that age and sales conditions should be imposed on the sale of BZP, will continue to monitor research on the level of harm associated with BZP," the Progressive leader said.

"I note that the Health committee has, after much deliberation, knocked back my hope that substances like butane gas and aerosols be regulated under this legislation. It appears the committee, after its exhaustive work, has decided however that these substances are better regulated under existing legislation such as the Fair Trading and the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Acts.

"I will therefore be seeking that my ministerial colleagues, the Minister of Consumer Affairs and the Minister of Environment, direct their officials to start work immediately in order to investigate how best to regulate these products either by consumer safety standards, manufacturing methods, or any other legal means to better protect against their abuse, which has tragic consequences, for some young people," Jim Anderton said.

Jim Anderton will ask the Leader of the House to give priority to progressing the misuse of drugs legislation so Parliament can enact it before the general election.


BACKGROUND: Misuse Of Drugs Amendment (No 3) Bill – Hon. Anderton's speech during the Second Reading on September 15, 2004 available at: http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1203

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