Supplementary Order Paper No 23

No 23

House of Representatives

Supplementary Order Paper

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Psychoactive Substances (Increasing Penalty for Supply and Distribution) Amendment Bill

Proposed amendment

Darroch Ball, in Committee, to move the following amendment:

Clause 4

In clause 4, in section 70(3)(a), replace “8 years” with “14 years”.

Explanatory note

This Supplementary Order Paper amends clause 4 of the Psychoactive Substances (Increasing Penalty for Supply and Distribution) Amendment Bill (the Bill), which amends section 70(3)(a) of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 (the principal Act). This will align the maximum penalty for supply of non-approved products in line with the penalties for the supply of Class B drugs in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.

The Bill aims to increase the penalty to the same level as Class C drugs, which are regarded as a moderate risk. With approximately 25 deaths in 2017, synthetic drugs cause greater social harm than Class C drugs.

This Supplementary Order Paper proposes to reduce the extraordinary harm to New Zealanders caused by synthetic drugs. A maximum penalty reflective of the high risk posed by Class B drugs is more appropriate.

The deaths and harm caused by synthetic drugs is extremely disturbing to the public and our legislation must reflect this level of concern. Suppliers and distributors must face the consequences of their operations and the justice system must impose greater penalties and appropriate sentences.