Associate Minister of Health Todd McClay has welcomed the Health Select Committee report today on the Psychoactive Substances Bill.
He reiterated his commitment to seeing the bill which proposes regulating psychoactive substances enacted well before its August deadline.
Friday, 14 June 2013, 3:14 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Government
Hon Todd McClay
Associate Minister of Health
14 June 2013 Media Statement
McClay says Synthetic Drugs Bill a Priority
The Bill, which proposes regulating psychoactive substances not already controlled by other legislation, establishes a testing regime which will ensure that only low-risk products can be sold.
“I particularly want to thank the committee and its chair, Dr Paul Hutchison, for the outstanding work they have done on what is a complicated bill, undertaken by necessity in a significantly more truncated timeframe than usual” said Mr McClay.
“This is an important piece of legislation that will bring relief to the thousands of parents, employers and communities that have battled the destructive impacts of legal highs, in particular synthetic cannabis products.”
The amendments in the Bill were agreed to unanimously by the Committee.
Mr McClay noted that while he couldn’t be sure how all parties would vote in the final stages of the bill’s passage, the unanimous vote did indicate that the committee recognised the significant harm that the unregulated legal high market currently posed.
“I would hope that the final vote on this bill in the House is unanimous in support. Anything less than that will mean that the health of New Zealanders, particularly young people, is not a priority for those voting against it.”
Mr McClay said it was appropriate to recognise the contribution of Hon Peter Dunne in getting the bill to this stage.
“Mr Dunne has been driving this legislation for a very long time and while I have assumed responsibility for it from here, I think it’s important that his significant contribution continues to be recognised.”
The bill will get its second reading on Thursday 27 June, with the final stages into law expected in early July. Following enactment a range of restrictions will immediately come into effect, including:
• a minimum purchase age of 18.
• restrictions on outlets, including barring all dairies from selling such products.
• labelling and packaging requirements.
• no advertising will be allowed except at point of sale.