Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Dunne Speaks

Dunne Speaks

17 April 2014

There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people.

At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone affected in the way some of these young people appear to have been. However, at another level, they are a little hard to believe at face value. The only psychoactive substances currently able to be sold legally are those that were on sale at least three months before the Act was passed, and which had hitherto not been known to be the cause of any problems. It is a little hard to see how they can suddenly have become so damaging, just in recent months. A far more likely explanation is that the people in question have been using a combination of legal and illegal drugs, or outlawed drugs obtained on the black market.

But be all that as it may, the fact remains that despite the R18 restriction on sales and possession there are still young people being adversely affected. It makes me all the more angry at the tardy and downright irresponsible response of our Mayors and Councils who, nine months after the passage of the Act, have done so little to implement the responsibilities they begged Parliament to give them. Nor has the psychoactive substances industry shown any interest in anything other than their bottom line.

At the same time, this emerging situation has led me to look again at what is available on the market at present, and the impact it is having. For that reason, I asked the Ministry of Health some weeks ago to check with doctors and mental health facilities around the country the impact the substances presently available were having. It is also why the manufacturers of those products are presently being audited on their compliance with the manufacturing code of practice that was released earlier in the year. I am reviewing the situation on literally a daily basis, including whether additional legislative measures are required.

Let there be no doubt that as far as I am concerned there is nothing positive about psychoactive substances. The issue is simply how to deal with what Time magazine called this week “the most complicated drug problem in the world right now … spreading to eager buyers everywhere at an unprecedented speed.” Because banning these products does not work (Time points out that “because the newest compounds don’t yet appear on state and federal lists of illegal drugs, the sellers can market them as legal. As soon as authorities add a compound to the prohibited list, the chemists tweak the formula—ever so slightly—to make a new substance that purports to be legal”)our responsibility must be to ensure the environment in which they are used in New Zealand reduces the prospect of harm to the greatest extent possible. That should not be interpreted as any form of approval for these pernicious products, as some ignorantly suggest. It is, rather, about implementing control policies that are realistic, responsible and ultimately effective. That is all that drives me day in and day out on this issue.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Election Day: National Win

With almost all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose.

Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party.

With 99.6 percent of the vote counted National had 48 percent, Labour 24.6 and the Greens 10. Though special votes might change the margins it is certainly a third term victory for Key defying the political gravity which usually hits parties seeking a third term. Increasing National’s party share is a remarkable political achievement...More>>

Overall Results | Live Results | Predictions |

 
 


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

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

ALSO:

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:

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:

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:

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:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news