I watched the Local City Council meeting on TV yesterday.. one item on the agenda was locations for ‘Legal High’ shops. Just to reiterate the issue; in 2013 the NZ Govt. passed a law ‘Psychoactive Substance Act’ that allowed licensed retail shops to sell SYNTHETIC cannabinoids that had been deemed ‘low risk’. The obvious Double-standard being; it excluded ‘natural cannabis’. Soon after the law passed, there were numerous protest rallies from ‘concerned groups’ highlighting that the DRUGS being sold were NOT ‘low risk & were actually causing high levels of admissions to hospital A&E depts. Soon after this, the Govt. passed an amendment to the act, that said only substances that had been put through ‘rigorous testing’ to label them ‘low risk’ would be allowed to be put back on sale, in the future. To date, I understand that NO substances have yet passed this test. BUT I hear rumors that there are some that could be on sale very soon.. BUT again, not natural cannabis (which the minister even stated was ‘unlikely to pass the low risk test’) Under the provisions of the act, it excludes even testing of any drug, currently banned under the ‘Misuse of Drugs act 1975’ (MODA) Why is this so ?
So in the interim, the Govt. has devolved the legislation to local councils, to approve areas that potential ‘Legal High’ shops can operate; BUT only if clear of ‘sensitive places’ : schools, churches, hospitals, mental health facilities etc.
I still ask the question: “How can a SYNTHETIC Cannabinoid, be deemed LESS harmful (or Low Risk) than the ‘natural herb’ ?” sounds like money & political influence is still ‘hard at work’ here ! 😦
btw; Soon after the law changes in 2013, it came to light that the current minister’s SON was employed by a company involved in selling the Synthetics & ‘legal highs’.. BUT he stated ‘NO conflict of interest’ (BUT did anyone believe him ?)