Psychoactive Substances Bill - Submission
The Police Association welcomes the Psychoactive Substances Bill, and believes it should proceed with some amendments.
There is ample evidence accumulating on a daily basis that so-called ‘legal highs’ may pose significant health risks, and their use is also increasingly linked to issues of addiction and crime. Consumers of these products labour under the belief – albeit misguided – that the fact such products are legal means they must be safe or relatively harmless. Knowing that this is not the case, and in light of the fact the nature of the products makes banning of specific substances merely a temporary fix, a new approach to regulation is required in order to ensure unsafe products are not (lawfully) sold. The Association believes the Bill’s approach of placing the onus on suppliers of new substances to demonstrate the safety of products prior to sale should achieve this aim.
The Association’s submission focuses on the following matters in the Bill, which we believe require the Committee’s particular attention:
- Age restrictions
- Licensing of sellers
- Internet advertising
- Packaging restrictions
- Research required to support review of Act’s effectiveness
- Transitional provisions
- Excise tax
- Drug-impaired driving