Despite all the bleating that the sky would fall in if we legalised "gay marriage" in New Zealand, it was another recent piece of legislation passed by the National government that led to a disturbing increase in crime and ill effects on society. The legislation was short lived as well as ill advised.
The Psychoactive Substances Act came into effect on 17 July 2013 thanks to Matthew Bowden and Peter Dunne among others. Less than twelve months later the government was forced into an embarrassing u-turn.
In late April 2014 it was revealed that Peter Dunne's son, a lawyer who works at Chen Palmer, advertises on the Chen Palmer website about his "valuable inside knowledge of how Parliament works". Peter Dunne says his son is "entitled to trade off the fact that he's my son in his business, if he sees that it's to his advantage".
On 7th May 2014 the National government, in partnership with the Crown, instrumented its latest fiscal fiasco and legislative disaster damage control strategy, the Psychoactive Substances Amendment Act 2014, which states that:
"Every interim approval granted in respect of a psychoactive product under clause 4 (before that clause was repealed by section 8 of the Psychoactive Substances Amendment Act 2014) is revoked.
The Authority must, before the close of the day after the date of the commencement of this clause, issue a recall order under section 88 for every psychoactive product described in clause 11 (the product).
The Authority must—
(a) display the date of the recall order prominently on the recall order; and
(b) notify the recall order on an Internet site maintained by or on behalf of the Authority.
(3) For the purposes of section 88(2), the recall order is deemed to have been received by every importer, manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of the product on the close of the day after the date displayed on the recall order.
(4) The recall order may—
(a) require every importer, manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer (or any combination of them) to—
(i) provide information to the Authority in relation to the amount and type of the product in their possession:
(ii) dispose of or destroy, or arrange for the disposal (including by return to a manufacturer or an importer) or the destruction of, the product in their possession:
(iii) provide information to the Authority on the disposal of or destruction or arrangements for the disposal or destruction of the product in their possession:
(b) specify locations where the product can be delivered for disposal or destruction:
(c) specify a time limit for compliance with the recall order:
(d) specify any ancillary or incidental requirement.
13 Revocation of interim licences to sell psychoactive products granted interim approval
Every interim licence granted under clause 7(1)(e) and (f) (before those paragraphs were repealed by section 8 of the Psychoactive Substances Amendment Act 2014) is revoked.
For the avoidance of doubt, and regardless of the outcome of any appeal under subpart 3 of Part 2, the following may not be granted after the commencement of the Psychoactive Substances Amendment Act 2014:
(a) an interim licence to sell psychoactive products granted interim approval by retail:
(b) an interim licence to sell psychoactive products granted interim approval by wholesale:
(c) an interim approval.
No compensation or damages are payable by the Crown for any loss or damage arising from the enactment of the Psychoactive Substances Amendment Act 2014.”
This is an abrupt about face for the government and evidence of a seriously dysfunctional legislative process - not to mention the stink of taxpayer funded corruption. The cost to the taxpayers remains to be seen, the social costs have already been seen, with deaths reported and countless reports of addictions and other serious harmful effects - hence the final clause (above). It is less than a year since the government passed the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013, which contained the following definition:
"psychoactive substance means a substance, mixture, preparation, article, device, or thing that is capable of inducing a psychoactive effect (by any means) in an individual who uses the psychoactive substance."This Act stated that a person who is a New Zealand resident may apply to 'the Authority' for a licence to import, manufacture or sell psychoactive substances. So called "experts" on the advisory panel appointed by Peter Dunne MP included Bob Kerridge of the SPCA.
The Key Regulatory Roles are clearly inadequate and the regulatory authority as well as the legislative process, and the present government, clearly incompetent and/or corrupt, and all the while these chemical drugs are labeled as "synthetic cannabis" by journalists and 'television celebrities', drug industry spokespersons, and other key players (and fellow passengers on the gravy train), such as the NZ Drug Foundation, who claim that the drugs need to be legalised "or else they'll end up on the black market" - is that a good reason to legalise cannabis then?
Does alcohol have a psychoactive effect on an individual? Is tobacco addiction a psychoactive effect?
While the NZ Police and the health system mop up after the industry, and the Police fly round in helicopters looking for cannabis every summer, we've got politicians legalising synthetic drugs at the drop of a hat for their nearest and dearest.