Bill aims to stop synthetic drug trade

Hayley Goddard, SOUND TELEGRAPHSound Telegraph
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Rockingham and Kwinana police are one step closer to cracking down on synthetic drugs after a Bill prohibiting the sale, supply, manufacture, advertising and promotion of any psychoactive substance was tabled in State Parliament last week.

Police Minister Liza Harvey introduced the Misuse of Drugs Amendment (Psychoactive Substances) Bill 2015 on Wednesday, May 20, stating it would close a legal loophole which enabled new and emerging psychoactive substances to be sold and/or promoted.

If passed, the manufacture, sale or supply of such substances could attract penalties of $48,000 or four years jail and the promotion of synthetics could mean a $24,000 fine or two years jail.

"This Bill provides WA Police with the power to seize and destroy a psychoactive substance that has, or is purported to have, a psychoactive effect, unless it is … specifically exempted," Mrs Harvey told the Legislative Assembly.

Anti-synthetic drugs crusader and South Metro MLC Phil Edman applauded the introduction of the legislation and apologised for its delay.

"The saddest thing for me over the past 12 months has been the amount of families who have contacted me and explained the damage its done to the family," he said.

He said he was "disappointed" at Rockingham businesses which stocked and had made a profit off the psychoactive and addictive substances.

"The drug problem is not fixed but these drugs being 'legally' sold is about to end," he said.

"Even substances which are not psychoactive but advertise as such will be illegal.

"I would like to return the family unity to our community."

Rockingham police Senior Sergeant Stuart Mearns welcomed any legislation which would bring an end to synthetic drugs in the region.

"The community at large don't condone the use of these types of drugs and want them removed," he said.

"We consider the use of synthetic cannabis or any mind-altering drug a danger to the community and for the individuals involved."

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