The Justice select committee has submitted its final report on the Psychoactive Substances (Increasing Penalty for Supply and Distribution) Amendment Bill saying it could not reach an agreement on whether to recommend the bill be passed.
The Member’s Bill, sponsored by National MP Simeon Brown, proposes to amend the penalty in section 70(3)(a) of the principal Act, under which a person who sells, supplies, or possesses a substance with the intent to sell or supply is liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years.
The amendment would also align with the penalty in section 6(2)(c) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, which sets out a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding eight years in respect of the sale, production, or supply of Class C drugs.
While the Justice Committee agreed that the issue requires a multi layered approach, and that synthetic cannabis and its various forms are “causing harm in communities throughout New Zealand”, it could not agree on whether it be passed in its current form.
The committee has recommended that the House take note of its report saying, “we have not reached agreement about whether a select committee inquiry into addiction to psychoactive substances is necessary”.