New penalty: Fines of more than $2000 are now enforced for the supply of synthetic drugs. Photo: Supplied
A loophole will allow drugs sold as "food" to be exempted from laws pre-emptively banning all new synthetic drugs, the Greens say.
Experts have argued the law cannot keep pace with new ''synthetic'' drugs, with one new drug emerging in Australia each week.
Greens MP John Kaye said legislation introduced to Parliament on Wednesday failed in its mission to deal with this problem by banning anything that can affect a person's "motor function, thinking, behaviour, perception, awareness or mood", because it exempted foods.
"This will just shift the drugs arms race and encourage people to move from making drugs you can smoke to drugs you can eat," he said.
The law introduces fines of more than $2000, penalties of up to two years' jail and new powers to authorities to ban drugs once they are discovered. But it also exempts anything defined by the Food Act as a ''food'', that is, anything used for, or represented as being for, human consumption.