Drug Act Slated

Rob McCann 2013‘Kronic’ stands for the Govt’s handling of Legal Highs, says Labour candidate

By Alan Tristram

‘Kronic’ now stands for the Governments poor handling of Legal Highs, says Otaki Labour candidate Rob McCann

Speaking after a march in Levin was held to protest against legal highs, he said the Government has dropped the ball when implementing the Psychoactive Substances Act.

Labour in Government initiated a Law Commission review of the Misuse of Drugs Act, he says.

After the change of Government, the Law Commission produced a comprehensive report recommending complete replacement of the Misuse of Drugs Act which is now completely outdated and unfit for the 21st Century.

‘The National-led Government chose not to replace the Misuse of Drugs Act which is completely out of date,’ says Mr McCann. ‘Instead it implemented just one chapter of the report – the Psychoactive Substances Act.’

Public marches in protest 

‘We’re seeing the public organising marches up and down the county as a result of a government that hasn’t done it’s homework, and once again, ignored the experts. We saw it with what should have been alcohol reform and we’re seeing it again with drugs. This Government can’t actually get the job done.

‘Unfortunately for our community, we are the ones that will foot the bill as the act has not been phased in with enough haste or adequately funded to be effective.

‘The government must urgently fund the Ministry of Health, so that the testing of products and monitoring of the implementation of the act can take place properly. The health of our kids is not an issue that the government should put at risk for the sake of few dollars.’

Cure is not supposed to be worse

The cure is not supposed to be worse than the illness! However, we must also not forget that the real drivers of drug and alcohol abuse — unemployment, poverty and lack of opportunity — are not being addressed by this government,’ says Mr McCann.

Note:

  • There are now 160 retailers with interim licences to sell legal
    highs[1]. The number of retailers prior to the Act is unknown but estimated
    at 3000-4000[2].
  • There are now around 40 products available for sale[3]. Before the
    Act was passed there were around 300. That dropped to 45 when the Act was
    passed and 5 further products have been banned since then.
  •  The most harmful products like Kronic and K2 are now banned. It is
    illegal to sell them.
  •  No new products can come on to the market until the new approval
    process is operational.
  •  Councils are developing local plans to restrict the number and
    location of legal high stores.