Health Minister David Clark wants to reclassify synthetic drugs into Class A category

By October 4, 2018 Recent News

NewsHub 3 September 2018 
The Health Minister David Clark is cracking down on synthetic drugs, pushing to reclassify them into the same batch as methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine.

The reaction comes after at least two people died in relation to a bad batch of synthetic drugs in Christchurch.

“I am looking to seek the support of my cabinet colleagues to have these reclassified as a Class A drug,” Mr Clark told Newshub.

“There is no safe level of these drugs and people should avoid them.”

Over the last two weeks, 19 people have been admitted to Christchurch Hospital suffering from “probable severe synthetic toxicity”.

There have been no deaths from people admitted to hospital and two people remain in intensive care, the Canterbury DHB says.

The two people who died in the last fortnight were not admitted to hospital.

Health minister wants synthetic cannabis reclassified after Christchurch death
Stuff 3 September 2018 
Health Minister Dr David Clark wants synthetic cannabis reclassified to a Class A drug, alongside heroin and cocaine, so police can “go after the peddlers [and] interrupt the supply of them into the community”.

His plea follows the death of a Christchurch man on Monday, believed to have died as a result of synthetic cannabis use, while 19 people were admitted to hospital in two weeks.

A decision on reclassification would be taken in the coming weeks, but Clark wanted to reassure New Zealanders the Government was taking the matter seriously.

“These drugs are killing people. We have health, police, customs and corrections all working closely on this,” Clark said.

“It’s important to acknowledge that reclassification is not a silver bullet. We need to treat drug abuse, including synthetic cannabis, as a health issue. That’s why the Ministers of Health, Justice, Police and Customs are working together on this issue – to find real solutions.”