Synthetics crackdown taking too long - father

A father who lost his son to synthetic drugs believes law changes are taking far too long.

Calum Jones, 22, died from taking the psychoactive substance in 2017.

But his dad Lewis Jones says more people have suffered since from slow action.

"It's been a long time in the making of anybody doing anything. I think it's disgusting, to be honest."

The Government has introduced a Bill to tackle both the suppliers and victims of the drug. It would make two synthetic substances Class A drugs, and give police discretion to prosecute users or send them to health services.

"We do think that those who are dealing and supplying in this should feel the full force of the criminal justice system," said Police Minister Stuart Nash.

"But those who are addicted - and keep in mind a lot of the 55 Kiwis who have died have been addicts, that we think would have been better served if we got a health approach underway."

Mr Jones says it has taken too long.

"Sixty-odd people died in the last 12 months specifically from overdose, and I was the only who stood up and said,' Hey - this is just craziness.'"

The figure is up to 55 since June 2017, according to Health Minister David Clark.

The changes were announced in December, but the Bill only introduced on Wednesday.

Mr Nash says the Government is striking a balance.

"It's not a simple process… We're not going to rush this around urgency. We think it's really important the people of New Zealand have their say on this."


Contact Newshub with your story tips: