MP for Taupo, Louise Upston, is urging members of the public to make submissions to the Psychoactive Substances Bill to help control the sale of ‘legal highs.’
“There has been a large level of concern from the community about party pills and synthetic cannabis products that some retailers are selling,” Louise said. “You can now have you say on this issue, so I’m encouraging people to make a submission to the select committee . We want to see a wide range of views represented.”
The Psychoactive Substances Bill regulates psychoactive substances, or “legal highs”, so products have to be proved low-risk before they can be sold.
At the moment, these products are unregulated, with no control over ingredients, place of sale, or who they can be sold to.
If the bill is passed it will be illegal to sell any product which has not been through an assessment. There will be strict restrictions on where products can be sold, the purchase age, and marketing restrictions. Manufacturers of legal high products will have to prove their product is low-risk before it can be manufactured and sold.
Cleaning up the “legal high” industry is part of Government’s drive to deliver better public services.
Louise has had the issue of legal highs raised by many constituents, and believes there has been pressure on those who sell it from the community.
“I have heard from constituents who have used synthetic products, and those who have been affected by friends or family taking them. There is a crippling negative impact for many people who use these drugs, and you can be exposed to significant dangers while experiencing the effects of these substances. Most people I have spoken to want the sale of these drugs more heavily regulated, which is what this bill is all about.”
Louise said New Zealanders deserve to know that products available to them are safe and that they’re not being put in harm’s way with untested, risky substances.