Bay legal highs watchdog group formed

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Michael Mills Tauranga Moana Safe City Co-ordinator.
Michael Mills Tauranga Moana Safe City Co-ordinator.

A Tauranga psychoactive substances watchdog group will now be formed in the wake of the Government's U-turn on synthetic drugs and the postponement of a community meeting on the issue.

The group has come about as a result of the Government's announcement last night that all 'legal highs' would be removed from shelves within two weeks.

Western Bay councillor Margaret Murray-Benge and Tauranga Safe City co-ordinator Mike Mills had organised a public meeting about synthetic drugs and their impact on the community to take place on Wednesday. A call to ban the product was expected to come from the meeting.

Mr Mills said told the meeting had now been postponed, pending further development.

However, the people who were involved with the meeting were now going to form the Psychoactive Substances Watchdog Group, he said.

The group would monitor the clinical, criminal and community impacts of the legislative changes.

"We pro-actively promote access to therapeutic support services for individuals and families who are having their lives destroyed by this stuff," Mr Mills said.

Mr Mills said the group still planned on meeting with Tauranga MP Simon Bridges, who was expected to attend the meeting, and it was important the community knew the group were not giving up in light of new developments.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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