Synthetic drugs Bill passes second reading

Long Lunch 18/10/2018
Photo: Getty.

A Private Member’s Bill increasing the penalty for supplying illegal synthetic drugs has passed its second reading in Parliament.

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown’s Psychoactive Substances Amendment Bill was drawn from the ballot in February.

He says synthetic drugs are a blight on our society and it's an issue he's been focusing on for a long time.

The Bill that I’m pushing forward is focused on issues which I think matter to all New Zealanders.

"I see there is a real need in our society to ensure that we provide a balanced approach to how we deal with drug harm and that means providing the right support to those who are suffering from addiction, but it also means that there needs to be the right penalties in place for those who supply these drugs,” Mr Brown told RadioLIVE.

He says his Bill will increase the maximum prison sentence for those caught dealing synthetic drugs from 2 years to 8 years.

“Which will deter suppliers and give our justice system more power to keep these criminals away from the vulnerable people they prey on,” he said.

Mr Brown’s party leader, Simon Bridges, is currently caught up in an alleged electoral finance fraud scandal; a distraction to his Bill’s passing.

Neighbouring Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross alleges the fraud.

Responding to questions put forward by RadioLIVE regarding Mr Ross, Mr Brown described his former colleague as a “bad apple”.

"What Jami-Lee's been doing is damaging… but we're a strong, united team," the 27-year-old said.

Listen to the full interview with Simeon Brown above.

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