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Maori Party says Psychoactive Substances Bill is first step

Maori Party says Psychoactive Substances Bill is the first step in reducing harm caused by party pills

The Maori Party says that the Psychoactive Substances Bill which will restrict access to ‘legal high’ drugs and only allow the sale of substances that are proven to be safe is the first step in reducing harm caused by party pills.

The bill will restrict the manufacture, importation, sale and supply of psychoactive substances and allow only the sale of substances that are proven to be safe and meet safety and manufacturing requirements.
Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia says while the Maori Party applauds the move to reduce harm by placing tighter restrictions on access to party pills – it does not address the wider more prevalent issue of addiction or abuse.

“We know that party pill users were more likely to be male than female, more likely to be Maori and were predominantly aged between 18-34. Users often take these pills while drinking alcohol and/or taking other drugs. Most who are hospitalised after taking party pills also have alcohol and/or cannabis in their system. A particular problem is that once one product is banned, a new product pops up,” says Mrs Turia.

“We need more education and warnings on the hazards of consuming party pills and especially with other drugs and/or alcohol.”

“We also support those communities who wish to put a stop to the sale of party bills and synthetic drugs at their local dairies. We have lobbied and won the battle to hide displays of tobacco products in shops. We have spoken out in support of those communities that oppose liquor licensed premises near their homes and schools. Selling these substances in dairies sends the wrong messages to our young people and normalises the use of drugs. We need them stopped – and we need to put a stop now.”

“For too long our communities have been dominated by the use of drugs and/or alcohol in the belief that they are necessary to socialise and have a good time. And yet we have many non-alcoholic, non-smoking and drug-free events like the highly successful Matatini National Kapahaka, Pa Wars, Waka Ama and Touch events where our people gather without the use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco.”

“We are reminded so often of the words of one of our great leaders Sir Maui Pomare who said over one hundred years ago ‘Our effort will be in the direction of the eradication of all things which ensure the demoralisation and decay of the Maori..…We seek the regeneration of the Maori, and unless we effect that, our race is doomed’.”

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