Controversial legal high in huge demand

By Kiri Gillespie -
Storm Ryan and Matt Gibson had a bad experience after using the legal high, Kryptonite. Photo / Bay of Plenty Times
Storm Ryan and Matt Gibson had a bad experience after using the legal high, Kryptonite. Photo / Bay of Plenty Times

More than 100 people entered a Tauranga store to buy the controversial synthetic cannabis Kryptonite yesterday morning.

The customers went to Puff n' Stuff on Cameron Rd to buy the legal high despite a warning this week from two teenagers who experienced a "scary" ordeal from its side effects.

Store owner Mike Lawrence told the Bay of Plenty Times demand for the drug was "mental" and he had video footage to back it up.

"People are coming in saying 'oh my God, this stuff is stronger, I have to have it'.

"I've actually taken it off my shelves because this product is up there with the strength, you don't want someone who hasn't tried it [synthetic cannabis] having some."

Mr Lawrence said many people who came in looking for Kryptonite said they were looking to get "wasted" and he did not sell to them.

"They are idiots. They are not the ones who want to go home and relax with the wife after work."

Mount Maunganui couple Storm Ryan, 17, and Matt Gibson, 18, spoke out in yesterday's Bay of Plenty Times against the synthetic cannabis after the wearing-off effects left them vomiting, hallucinating and with no control over their muscles or bodily functions.

The couple said that they did not want others to experience the ordeal, saying the legal high they took had ecstasy in it and could kill.

Kryptonite's manufacturers could not be reached this week but Puff n' Stuff's Mr Lawrence said he spoke on behalf of the manufacturers in saying the teens' experience was the result of them abusing the product.

Mr Lawrence said Kryptonite's strength was like the strength of absinthe in the alcohol range "and you wouldn't sell that to a first timer would you?"

Mr Lawrence said allegations of ecstasy in the product were ridiculous.

A retail assistant who sold Kryptonite at another store said he wished it was off the shelves but he had to sell it because it was his job.

The man, who would not be named because he did not want to be fired, said Kryptonite was gaining popularity but there were customers who tried it and said they would never have it again because of their bad experiences.

"They say that's terrible stuff. They go to work really tired, that it's just a bad trip.

"The worst thing is they are selling it in dairies and anyone can get it," the man said.

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