The Andrews Labor Government’s crackdown on dangerous drugs continues with a new blanket ban on synthetic drugs coming into effect today.
While many of these substances were previously available for purchase over the counter, anyone peddling these substances now faces tough penalties, including up to two years in prison or more than $38,000 in fines.
The Labor Government introduced new laws earlier this year to ban these mind-altering drugs, which have been linked to increased hospital emergency admissions and a number of deaths in the past few years.
Synthetic drugs are designed to mimic the effects of illicit drugs like cannabis and ecstasy, while trying to avoid existing drug control measures.
The World Health Organisation has indicated the harmful effects of synthetic drugs can include seizures, heart problems, withdrawal symptoms and addictions and blood-borne diseases.
The state-wide ban means it’s illegal to produce, sell or promote any substances that have a psychoactive effect, regardless of their chemical make-up.
The new laws also give police the power to search and seize any psychoactive drugs, in the same way police can search for any illicit drug.
The Labor Government has also stepped up its fight on ice dealers with new laws that reduce the amount of ice required for commercial trafficking offences also commencing today.
These ice reforms are mirrored by the changes to heroin trafficking quantities that were announced yesterday, as a part of the Drug Rehabilitation Plan.
Large commercial traffickable quantities for ice have been cut from 750g to 500g of pure methylamphetamine, and from 1kg to 750g when mixed. Commercial traffickable quantities have been reduced from 100g to 50g of pure methylamphetamine and from 500g to 250g when mixed.
Anyone convicted of large commercial trafficking faces a maximum of life in prison, or up to 25 years for commercial trafficking.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“These laws will help get dangerous drugs off our streets. From today anyone caught selling, producing or advertising these dangerous psychoactive drugs will face serious jail time or more than $38,000 in fines.”
“For too long these drugs had been passed off as safe, legal highs when in reality they’re just dangerous chemical cocktails. Our ban on synthetic drugs will help save lives.”
“We have also given police new powers to put away ice dealers for longer by reducing the amount of ice required for commercial drug trafficking offences.”