Whangarei residents opposed to the sale of legal highs in the district will rally in the city tomorrow pushing for a ban on the psychoactive substances.
Whangarei DIstrict Council is seeking public feedback on its proposal to limit the sale of psychoactive substances to a three block area of the CBD. Under the law the council can't ban the substances - also known as legal highs - but many people want them banned.
Tomorrow's rally against legal highs will begin on the grass verge near the Rose St Terminal with an opening karakia at 1pm. The rally will then march to the Brew Shop, in Vine St - one of three Whangarei outlets that legally sells the products - at 1.30pm before marching on the council chambers at Forum North where a closing karakia will be held. Organisers said the aim of the rally is to show that people "don't want these poisons in our community."
There will be a petition to sign, along with information brochures to hand out with the rally part of a nationwide day of action against legal highs being held in 22 towns and cities across the country. There is also a Facebook group 'Ban Synthetic Canabinoids Whangarei' people can join.
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Whangarei District Council plan to restrict where legal highs can be sold in the central city to Lower Cameron St, Clyde St and Albert St and would only allow legal highs to be sold between 10am and 2pm, 6pm and 8pm. Legal high stores could not be within 300 metres of each other, meaning a maximum of two to three stores in the zone.
Parliament introduced the Psychoactive Substances Act last year, which gives local authorities the right to develop a locally approved products policy that can determine where such products can be sold.
WDC said it would like to ban legal highs completely, but the Act did not allow that so this was considered the best option to reduce harm.