Back to top

[ Skip to main content ]

Police should hold off prosecuting people for possession of psychoactive products for the next six months, the New Zealand Drug Foundation urged today.

Last night Parliament voted to amend the Psychoactive Substances Act to remove all products from sale from Thursday.

"We're calling on the Police to press pause on their enforcement of possession of psychoactive products for the next six months," said Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell.

"One of the biggest barriers for people asking for help for themselves or others and getting into treatment is the fear of getting busted.

"A period where that barrier of fear is removed will allow people who need help to seek it.

"This would be a pragmatic and compassionate move which will assist people to access help services."

Mr Bell said there is precedent for not prosecuting people for possession offences immediately after a product ban.

"When BZP was reclassified as a Class C drug in 2008, there was a six month grace period where police did not chase people for possession," Mr Bell said.

"This worked well to allow people the space and time to figure out where and how to get help.

"The Government could further aid people looking for help by running a promotion campaign for the Alcohol and Drug Helpline.

"For many people looking for help the Alcohol and Drug Helpline is the first point of call. The Helpline does good work to immediately help people in crisis."

People can call the Alcohol and Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797

Share:

Check out these related articles: See more articles on Enforcement

Misuse of Drugs amendment: A temporary fix while we address the real problem

MPs are currently hearing public submissions on a potentially significant change to our drug law - the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill. Here'......

Read More

Government action on synthetics drugs crisis applauded

The Government’s response to synthetic drug deaths is welcomed by the Drug Foundation. This is an important step towards treating drug use a......

Read More

Synthetics drugs crisis prompts petition calling for boost to health support

A petition calling on the Prime Minister to back up her call to treat drug use as a health issue is live now. Please sign!...

Read More
MoS Nov 2018 thumbnail synthetics

Getting real about synthetics

Naomi Arnold takes another look at our alarming death rate from synthetic cannabinoids and at some real-world responses from people working ......

Read More
e substance newsletter promotional thumbnail

Subscribe to email updates

Get regular news, analysis and commentary on drugs issues in New Zealand. Free.

Sign up now!

Did You Know resources thumbnail

Did You Know: Teenagers can handle facts about drugs

Young people are more likely to delay or not use alcohol or other drugs if they know the facts about specific substances. Use our age-appropriate tools to start conversations with whānau and your young person... a-sap!

Learn more