Prime Minister John Key doubts provisions in a government bill aimed at cracking down on implements used for taking drugs will have much impact on the use of methamphetamine.
The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill has been reported back by Parliament's health select committee, with no significant amendments.
Its main purpose is to make medicines which use methamphetamine precursors ephedrine and pseudoephedrine available only on prescription, but it also contains a clause which makes it an offence to sell, supply and import utensils used to smoke methamphetamine and bans the import of parts of those utensils.
The Labour Party put in a minority report on the bill, saying no evidence had been presented on the merits of further restrictions on drug utensils.
The Green Party said the same thing, arguing there was "no evidence whatsoever that the changes would reduce drug use even slightly".
Key was asked his opinion today, and said the question was whether the provisions would actually work, and whether drug users would simply resort to home-made implements.
He said he had seen similar recommendations in the past.
"As a general rule no, my experience has been that they haven't worked very well," he told reporters.
The committee said in its report on the bill most of the submissions it received were opposed to the utensils clause.
November 30, 2010
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