Nan slams 'legal' drugs

By Erika Venter

A concerned grandmother has called a public meeting to put pressure on local outlets selling synthetic cannabis.

"This is available at any corner dairy; it is a pitfall for our young people who do not understand the consequences of using it," says Joan Thomason from Stratford, naming it 'legal cannabis'.

Her concern stems from local teenagers she knows who have "changed" after using it and she says it is time for someone to speak up for our young.

"Our young people think it will only put them on a high, but it is addictive. They can buy it for $20 - it is affordable cannabis. I want our community to put pressure on our dairies to not sell it,"

She says though it is illegal for the synthetic cannabis to be sold to under 18s, she knows about a few cases where 16-year-olds had no trouble purchasing it.

"Someone needs to ask the hard questions. If this is allowed, can they drive after using it? Does it have something to do with our suicide rate? It is trap."

Most shops spoken to say they would support this drive. John Sandford from Four Square says: " We have never sold it and never will. We do not stock artificial cannabis or party pills. I do not think we need it in our town."

Vikas Patel from the Northern Dairy says they also do not sell the product. "There is a high risk of it being stolen. It is also a life risk and we do not want to spoil anyone's life. Teenagers use other people's ID to obtain it."

New World says they do not sell it, as per Foodstuff's guidelines, and Stratford Dairy's Dav?d Ge says even though legal, they do not want to sell it as they are thinking off the community.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne last week announced that a substance found in K2, a product also sold in Stratford, will be banned effective from tomorrow for 12 months.

"A permanent psychoactive substances regime will be in place by the middle of next year, reversing the onus of proof so manufacturers and distributors will have to prove their products are safe before they can sell them."

Joan, however, says for some it might come too late, and that the community should now put their foot down for it not to be sold at all in our community.

The meeting is held at the Salvation Army Complex, December 13, at 7pm.

- Stratford Press

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