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A Bill to crack down on the supply of synthetic cannabis by increasing the penalty for suppliers from a maximum of two years’ imprisonment to a maximum of eight years has today been lodged as a Private Members Bill by National MP for Pakuranga Simeon Brown.

“Psychoactive drugs, like synthetic cannabis, have become increasingly harmful, with around 20 reported deaths associated with their consumption over the past 12 months,” says Mr Brown.

“My Bill will amend the Psychoactive Substances Act to ensure that those who supply illegal psychoactive drugs onto the market face the same type of conviction as they would if they were supplying a Class C Drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.

“The type of drug being supplied to the market is very different to what was envisioned when the Psychoactive Substances Act was brought into force in 2013.

“The Act set up a regulatory framework for the approval of these substances, which producers of psychoactive substances were expected to comply with. Too many suppliers are not complying with the Act and the testing regimes which have been set up, so we are seeing a growing number of illegal products on the market.

“These products are far more potent than what was on the market before the regulations were put in place. This Bill is necessary in order to protect our communities and young people from these harmful drugs, to deter those who are supplying them into the market, and to give Police stronger powers to crack down on suppliers. 

“I look forward to having this Bill drawn from the ballot and progressing it through Parliament so that we can better protect our communities and young people from these harmful drugs.”

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