A bid to ban synthetic cannabis products from areas of the city is gaining support in the community.
Councillor Angela O'Leary has called for the council to support, in principle, a city-wide ban of the products.
At a council meeting yesterday, Ms O'Leary asked the council to show leadership and get rid of the synthetic drugs.
"By law, councils can ban the sale of synthetic drugs in parts of the city. These drugs are an absolute pox on our community - their impact on neighbourhoods and families can be devastating," she said.
Ms O'Leary said the Psychoactive Substances Act legislation talks about being able to restrict the sale of synthetic drugs from certain parts of the district. "I'm reading that as the opportunity to put, say, a 1km radius around schools, churches, playcentres, council facilities, playgrounds etc."
Part of the councillor's proposed motion was that staff report back under urgency with what a ban could involve.
"The legislation says we can develop a policy so I don't have the answers yet on how that will be enforced. Presently bylaws are the local laws we can develop that police can enforce but the legislation talks about this being a policy so there are still questions to be answered."
Ms O'Leary said the council had the ability to make a difference on the issue "and it should".
"People are really upset about this and I don't blame them.
"I've heard reports of people being hassled for money from young people who are completely out of it and hanging around the central city. If we don't do something about this now - before it gets any worse - we're turning a blind eye to 'community drug dealers' who stand behind the counters at dairies."
Ms O'Leary's proposed motion to the council was that staff, under urgency, provide a a draft Local Approved Products Policy in line with the Psychoactive Substances Act to be reported to the extraordinary strategy and policy committee meeting on August 22.
Mayoral candidate Ewan Wilson is keen to take a hard-line approach against the consumption of synthetic drugs in the city.
Hamilton city area commander Inspector Greg Nicholls said police intervention over synthetic drugs centred on the behaviour of individuals. Police would step in where the behaviour was of concern. He said education about any new policy or bylaw was a logical first step to encourage compliance. "Enforcement is always a last resort."
Police have been proactive in their dealings with retailers, with Operation Dairy an ongoing initiative to discourage illegal sales of the products.
Meanwhile, Hamilton City Council looks set to extend its smokefree policy to include all council-owned parks, sports fields and bus stops and Ward St east.
The non-enforceable policy relies on self-policing and signs. Council strategy and research manager Tegan McIntyre said there was no budget for signs highlighting the non-smoking policy so the signs will be phased in as they can be paid for.
She said the council would also approach businesses and clubs based at sports grounds to gauge whether they may consider sponsoring some signs.
CentrePlace management has committed to pay for signs for Ward St east.