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Napier renews calls for legal highs to be banned

Legal highs. Media Release

NAPIER Mayor Bill Dalton says the Government is letting New Zealanders down over its refusal to ban psychoactive substances.

“The government has absolutely wimped out on this one,” Mayor Dalton says. 

“They tell us their regulatory regime is an experiment. If that is the case, then it is an experiment that is failing and resulting in a new wave of addicts in our country.”

Mayor Dalton said the issue had been dumped on local councils to deal with.

“I completely disagree with the comments made by Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne on TV One’s Seven Sharp programme last night. Ironically he held up Napier as one of the few cities making the most of their so-called power to ‘restrict’ the sale of these vile things. We don’t want them in our city. Why should we have to spend our time looking for loopholes to prevent them from being sold? One shop is one shop too many. We want them banned.”

The Governement was hanging local councils out to dry, Mayor Dalton said.

“The people of New Zealand are trying to get through to Mr Dunne without much success. I support the nationwide protests taking place tomorrow and I hope they might spur him on to start listening to the people and stop gazing at his navel. Enough is enough.”

Security footage taken from outside the Napier shop and shown on Seven Sharp last night showed how busy the shop was.

“The owners of these shops are making huge amounts of money. There’s no way they are going to voluntarily shut their doors. Any attempt we make to shut them down via the means suggested by Mr Dunne will be met with legal action because these guys have too much to lose.”

A blanket ban on all psychoactive substances was the only answer, Mayor Dalton said.

“Peter Dunne claims that, because these synthetic drugs are based on a chemical formula that can be changed, he can’t ban them. That’s rubbish. Why can’t the government put a blanket ban on all psychoactive substances and products and then exempt those that are covered by existing legislation?”

ENDS

13 November 2014

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