Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Psychoactive Substances Bill – The Priority is Public Safety

Hon Todd McClay

Associate Minister of Health

27 June 2013

Media Statement

Psychoactive Substances Bill – The Priority is Public Safety

Associate Health Minister Todd McClay unequivocally stated that his priority in progressing the Psychoactive Substances Bill , which commenced its Second Reading in Parliament today, was public safety.

“It is worth taking the time to remind ourselves what this Bill is about. This Bill is squarely about safety and will ensure that the onus will be on anyone wanting to produce a psychoactive product to show it poses no more than a low risk of harm” said Mr McClay.

The Bill proposes tight controls around the availability of products that do meet the low risk threshold. From the day of enactment, neighbourhood dairies will no longer be entitled to stock any such products. Nor will sales to those under-18 years of age be permitted.

“These and other restrictions, including restricting where advertising can occur, provide absolute certainty that the Government is serious about controlling these substances and preventing harm.”

The Government proposes to keep the offence for possession of an unapproved product, or possession of any psychoactive substance by an individual under 18 years.

“I know a lot of submitters wanted no personal possession offence, and I understand their view, however, I don’t think recognising that there still needs to be some personal responsibility taken is a bad thing.”

“I can assure those who argued against a personal possession provision that no one will receive a criminal conviction for possession – it will be an infringement offence only. Neither I, nor my colleagues, are interested in establishing a new class of criminal for possession of these products.”

In response to a number of strong submissions made to the Health committee, the Bill now contains provisions allowing local authorities to restrict outlet locations and density, similar to the provisions in the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.

The Bill also encompasses advice from the Ministry of Health’s interim expert committee regarding animal testing. The Committee’s advice was that some animal testing would initially be necessary to ensure the risk of products was accurately assessed, but that there were some alternative tests that could be used immediately, and they would continue to work to identify other alternatives.

“After receiving this advice, I asked the Health Committee to consider an amendment to the Bill that would put controls on animal testing and put a duty on the Expert Advisory Committee to actively seek alternatives.“

“I am very pleased to say that the committee members agreed unanimously to those amendments, which are section 11A of the revised Bill. The Expert Advisory Committee will actively seek alternatives to animal tests, and again, I want to make it clear that there will be no animal testing where there is a suitable alternative” said Mr McClay.

The timing of the Bill is also significant as the government undertakes a review of the National Drug Policy, its guiding policy for minimising drug-related harm in the community.

“Whilst there will be discussions and consultation held to discuss what else can be done in this field, starting with a discussion forum tomorrow, the restrictions placed on psychoactive substances through this Bill will form an important component of New Zealand’s policy on drugs for the future.”

“I am aware that drug policy is a particularly polarising area, and I have no doubt that in the course of the National Drug Policy’s development, a variety of interested parties will float a wide range of ideas, many of which may not be acceptable to me or this government. However, if thinking outside the box achieves even one promising proposal that will reduce the dependency and harm that comes with drug use, then I believe it is worth the effort” Mr McClay said.

While the Ministry of Health will be reporting back on progress on the National Drug Policy review later this year, the fast-tracked Psychoactive Substances Bill is expected to complete its third and final reading on 4 July 2013.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries:
Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

If you’re not enrolled now, you need to hurry or you won’t be able to vote in this Saturday’s general election.

“Election day is almost here, and it’s your last chance to enrol,” says Murray Wicks, National Manager, Enrolment Services. “It’s not too late, but you need to do it right now.”

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news