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Parliament must pass Psychoactive Substances Bill Urgently

Media Release

7 May 2013

Parliament must pass Psychoactive Substances Bill Urgently - Manurewa Local Board Members

Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton and Manurewa Local Board Member Simeon Brown will be tomorrow speaking to their submission in support of the Psychoactive Substances Bill which is currently before the Health Select Committee.

Last week the Manurewa Community was shocked to find out that a new shop called 'high zone' had opened in the town centre selling Party Pills,
synthetic cannabis and other so called 'legal highs'. This week, action is being taken.

"The community is coming together in opposition to this store." Says Manruewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton.

"A petition is being signed by residents, a protest is being organised for this weekend by local youth, and many community groups have made submissions in favour of the Psychoactive Substances Bill. The Manurewa community is doing all it can to make it clear that this store is unwelcome in our town centre.

"While under the current law, this store is completely within its rights, we are also calling for the law to be changed urgently to empower the community to be able to say no to drug shops like this one.

"The message to the Government is clear. The Psychoactive Substances Bill must be passed urgently and the Bill must be strengthened to empower communities." Said Ms Dalton.

Manurewa Local Board Member Simeon Brown wrote a joint submission with Angela Dalton last week and will be making an oral submission to Parliament tomorrow in favour of the urgent Passing of the Psychoactive Substances Bill.

"We support the intention of Parliament in passing this Bill, but it doesn't go far enough." Said Mr Brown.

"Forcing producers of these drugs to prove that these drugs are safe before they can be consumed is a good first step, however communities must also be empowered to be able to regulate the sale of these substances.

"Ultimately we don't want any of these substances being sold in our community, but with a fast paced drug industry, producing drugs which have harms which are unquantifiable, we need to empower communities to be able to restrict the supply of these substances in much the same way as alcohol is regulated under the Alcohol Reform Act which was passed late last year.

"Manurewa has long advocated for local regulation of harmful substances, and we will continue to do so. Too often it is the communities of South Auckland which are harmed the most by these substances and it is time we are given the legislative power to say 'enough is enough'." Said Mr Brown.


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