More synthetic drugs now illegal

Additional 33 psychoactive substances named in Poisons Act

Western Australia’s efforts to prohibit new psychoactive substances, including synthetic cannabinoids, continue with 33 additional substances listed in Schedule 9 of the Poisons Act 1964.

Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said all synthetic cannabinoids were already illegal in Western Australia, however naming them would further assist the policing of these banned drugs.

In State legislation, Schedule 9 substances have no therapeutic use and are considered to be a health risk when consumed.

“People should know that all synthetic cannabinoids are illegal and that they risk prosecution if caught selling/suppling or possessing them. These 33 substances are in addition to those already listed, and there are many more substances related closely enough to also be considered illegal,” Mrs Morton said.

“The reason these 33 substances have been named is that they are a health risk. They all have either documented evidence of harm, or are pharmacologically or toxicologically similar to substances already shown to be harmful when consumed.

“I’m talking about serious health risks, including tremors, chest pain, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, seizures, and an altered mental state. It is not worth taking the risk with these substances.

“We continue to work closely with the Australian Government on the timely management of the national scheduling process, and we are seeing similar responses from other jurisdictions.”

Stiff penalties apply for possession and supply of synthetic drugs under the Misuse of Drug laws, just as there are for cannabis, methamphetamines and ecstasy.

These include up to $2,000, or two years, for simple possession, and up to $100,000 and/or 25 years for the sale, supply or possession with intent to supply these substances. Penalties for selling, supplying or offering these drugs to a child are even greater.

According to the Health Minister's office, WA continues to be one of the most proactive jurisdictions when it comes to addressing this issue, however consideration is being given to what new laws and other initiatives might be added to strengthen the Government’s response.


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