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Green Party to abstain on psychoactive substances bill

6 May 2014

Green Party to abstain on psychoactive substances legislation

The Green Party will abstain on the Government’s rushed amendments to its botched roll out of the psychoactive substance legislation.

“This has been a difficult decision for the Green Party. There are both pros and cons to the legislation,” said Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague.

“The Government’s botched implementation of their own psychoactive substance bill is to blame for this knee-jerk response. It wouldn’t be necessary if the Government had implemented their original legislation properly.

“We agree that dangerous psychoactive substances should not be on retail shelves, so we are frustrated that the Government didn’t use the powers it already had to get rid of them.

“And while we welcome the Government adopting Green MP Mojo Mathers’ amendment to prohibit data from animal testing being used to prove the safety of synthetic drugs; we are concerned that the bill will also create a dangerous black market in untested drugs.

“The Government changes will create a black market which will see psychoactive substances sold underground, making it much harder to deal with any problems associated with synthetic drugs.

“Experience has taught us that the Government’s prohibition will fuel a black market where no distinction is made between high and low risk substances, where purchaser age will not be checked and where the dealers supplying them will also have other drugs, like methamphetamine, for sale.

“Peter Dunne himself has recently stated that a ban will have the effect of generating significant black market activity and the alternative use of more harmful substances, with none of the public health measures offered in a regulated environment.

“The Green Party is very happy that the proposed bill bans the use of animal testing to prove a substance is safe, and requires alternative testing methods instead.

“This u-turn is the result of strong public pressure to protect animals and we would like to see a ban on data from animal testing extended to safety tests on cosmetic products also,” Mr Hague said.

ENDS

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