Editorial: The end of legal highs draws near

By Andrew Austin

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In a short space of time, the synthetic legal high K2 has had a major impact on our society.

Police and Hawke's Bay District Health Board have started a public education campaign against the substance (and other products) and Hawke's Bay Today is quite happy to lend its support to this worthy cause.

Today we begin a week-long series on the problem and what can be done to rid our communities of this dangerous substance.

Police officers and doctors have told us that they are seeing more people affected by K2. It is a worry because, like many synthetic cannabis products, one is never really sure what chemical combinations it contains.

It is time for us as a community to protect our children. There is a group of Napier parents - The Nanny Brigade - who protest outside shops and dairies who sell the product. This is a good initiative and it is up to us as customers to make it clear to these shops that we will not buy anything from them if they continue to sell a substance that puts people at risk.

The issue has become so big that the government has started taking notice. To his credit, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne is doing all he can to address the problem. Last week he announced a Temporary Class Drug Notice, banning substances found in K2 and there is currently a bill called the Psychoactive Substances Bill, which will become law in August.

Hawke's Bay Today will look at the problem from different perspectives. We would like to hear from you. Have you had an experience with K2? Do you know of a shop or dairy selling the product? Let us know and we will name them. Contact news@hbtoday.co.nz.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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