Earlier this year I went out on a night patrol with my local Police in Maungakiekie. This included observing the Police perform their nightly duties of preserving peace, and upholding law and order in our neighbourhoods. What struck me was the number of incidents attended to that involved drugs, alcohol and substance abuse. In particular, I will never forget the arrest of a dishevelled, young woman whose body was so affected by P-methamphetamine abuse that she looked at least 20 years older than her tender age of 25.
In the past decade we have seen a range of new drug problems come in to our communities. These include P labs appearing in our neighbourhoods to party drugs being sold to our young people, with sometimes life threatening consequences.
I am proud that we recently passed the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act 2011. This law has brought in new temporary class drug orders that have taken 43 synthetic cannabis products off the market for 12 months. We have temporarily banned the products as we work on a response to the Law Commission report that called for new drugs to be proved safe before they can be approved for sale.