Media Release - Otago MP Jacqui Dean - 5 November 2007
Dean – Govt Sits Back On Salvia Divinorum Sales
National MP Jacqui Dean said it was unfair to expect communities to police the sale of drugs like Salvia Divinorum while
the Government sat back and watched.
Mrs Dean’s comments come after a liquor store in Kaikoura last week voluntarily pulled Salvia Divinorum, or Mexican
tripping weed, from its shelves after widespread community concern about its sale. Associate Health Minister Jim
Anderton has said he will wait and see before he makes any decision on classifying the drug under the act.
“The present unrestricted availability of Salvia Divinorum has communities worried, but Associate Health Minister Jim
Anderton doesn’t seem to care.”
Mrs Dean said the Government should not be leaving it up to members of the public to police the sale of drugs like this
and that legislation should be put in place to protect communities.
“Salvia Divinorum is a hallucinogenic drug, which has been banned in Australia, and yet here in New Zealand it continues
to be sold freely.
“We’re dealing with a dangerous drug here, with the minister’s wait and see approach like playing Russian Roulette with
young people’s lives.
“Mr Anderton has his head in the sand over another drug which is infiltrating towns up and down the country and I’m
disturbed that he is happy to sit back and leave communities to struggle to deal with its control on their own.
“I do not want to see a repeat of the party pill fiasco where Mr Anderton ignored community concern about their sale,
and allowed the market to become well established in New Zealand, before he decided to ban them.
“It is wrong for Mr Anderton not to be at least considering legislation banning the sale of Salvia Divinorum – or do we
have to wait for a tragedy before he does anything about it.”