State bans synthetic drugs

SOUTH Metropolitan MLC Phil Edman has hailed the passing of a bill through State Parliament to ban synthetic drugs.

The Misuse of Drugs Amendment (Psychoactive Substances) Bill was passed yesterday afternoon, which bans the manufacture, sale, supply, advertising and promotion of any psychoactive substance in Western Australia.

Mr Edman has been a long-time campaigner against synthetic drugs in WA.

“In the time I have been punishing for change in this area I have had countless people contact me with a family member or friend hooked on synthetic drugs,” he said.

“I have seen how easy these are for kids and adults to get their hands on. I have watched the devastation of these drugs and the apathy of those who sell them towards the harm they are causing.

“The passing of this bill means this harm will stop.”

The new legislation amends the Misuse of Drugs Act 1981, and under the new measures manufacture, sale or supply of a psychoactive substance could result in a maximum $48,000 fine and/or a four-year jail term.

Promoting psychoactive substances attracts a maximum $24,000 fine and/or two-years prison, and the onus is on suppliers to prove legitimate use of the substance.

Until now synthetic drugs have been difficult to control because of how quickly the chemical compositions could be changed, but the new laws encompass all forms of synthetic drugs that have or may be created.

It also gives police the power to seize and destroy any substances that is advertised as mimicking the effects of illicit drugs.

“The Government has been playing catch up with these drugs but now we are on the front foot of this problem,” Mr Edman said.

“Suppliers of synthetic drugs should clean out their shelves because they cannot get away with this anymore.”