Dunne Dilly-Dallying Unnecessarily Delayed Legal Highs Bill
Barbara Stewart MP
Spokesperson for Health
1 March 2013
Dunne’s Dilly-Dallying Unnecessarily Delayed Legal Highs Bill
New Zealand First is relieved that the Psychoactive Substances Bill was finally introduced into Parliament but says it took Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne too long to front up to the problems caused by legal highs.
Health spokesperson Barbara Stewart says waiting for Mr Dunne to take action to curb the sale of untested legal highs was like watching milk curdle.
“Finally Mr Dunne has admitted the current legislation has left the Government two steps behind the legal highs industry.”
Mrs Stewart has continually urged the Government to make this legislation a priority following numerous reports of crimes committed by people under the influence of legal highs, and of the debilitating effect these drugs have on users’ physical and mental health.
“The good news is that if any of these substances can be proven to have a low enough risk to be sold in New Zealand then they will be required to have labels which clearly states what is in them.
“Given that young New Zealanders are being enticed to try these products, it is important that age and point of sale restrictions are put in place straight away.
“However, this Bill has
the health and safety of New Zealanders as a core principle.
We will support its progression through Parliament on that
basis,” says Mrs Stewart.