John Weekes

John Weekes is an NZME. News Service reporter based in Wellington.

Protesters target legal highs

Staff at a synthetic cannabis store cowered behind a counter as hundreds of people gathered outside to protest the sale of legal highs today.

Protestors yelled ''High Zone, go home'' outside the Manurewa store, which has been a flashpoint on anti-synthetic cannabis sentiment this week.

Local councillors and board members as well as Labour and National MPs attended.

"Our community has been dealt a vicious, vicious blow here'' protester and local District Health Board member Colleen Brown said.

Chair of the Manurewa Local Board, Angela Dalton, says people from local businesses and residents were just happy to have their voices heard at the end of a week when they made a submission on the Psychoactive Substances Bill, and also began a petition.

Ms Dalton says there is anger in the community that `High Zone' opened on Great South Road at Manurewa a week ago.

"If there is evidence that they may have been selling K2, and I know that the police have taken some samples, then perhaps they can be prosecuted and maybe shut down.''

Labour MP Louisa Wall and National MPs Kanwal Bakshi and Cam Calder voiced their concerns about High Zone, which opened in the last fortnight near a busy bus stop.

The protesters dispersed shortly after midday.

- Herald on Sunday

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