Thursday, 9th May, 2013

Parliament’s slowness to act on synthetic drugs “A disgrace …. unacceptable”

“The more than two years it is taking Parliament to ban synthetic drug products is a disgrace,” says Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett.

In July 2011, after an outcry over the toll legal highs were inflicting, an Auckland Chamber survey of members drew more than a thousand responses within 24 hours supporting an overall of the drug laws requiring all drug products to have to prove their safety before they could be sold.

Parliament responded with a 12-month notice banning all 48 synthetic products on the market at the time of the ban, with provision for Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne to ban further products when attempts were made to change ingredients or repackage products.

The ban was described by Mr Dunne as an interim measure while the Government worked on an overhaul of the Misuse of Drugs Act to require manufacturers to prove their products were safe before they could be sold. He promised the legislation would be put into Parliament in 2012.

“The further delay to August this year is unacceptable,” said an angry M Barnett.

“It should have been and still should be a simple Parliamentary process to ban these products and require them to prove they are safe before they can be sold.”

“That our law makers can give urgency to pass other laws, yet have failed our young, put lives at risk, angered many parents and exposed Parliament’s law making process to huge ridicule and credibility risk on this issue is unacceptable,” said Mr Barnett.

“I find it incredulous that Parliament continues to allow itself to be outwitted by the producers of these products.”

For more information contact Michael Barnett, mobile: 0275 631 150.
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Chamber of Commerce.