Highs and lows of le­gal highs de­bate

Le­gal highs or woe­ful lows? The Psy­choac­tive Sub­stances Act came into force last July to reg­u­late the man­u­fac­ture and sale of le­gal high prod­ucts. The law en­ables coun­cils to de­velop their own poli­cies to con­trol where syn­thetic cannabis and party pills c

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Auck­land’s city cen­tre has plenty of le­gal high re­tail­ers. There are 14 stores which hold in­terim li­censes to sell the prod­ucts, seven of which are on K’ Rd.

With in­put from lo­cal boards and the pub­lic, Auck­land Coun­cil’s $95,000 Lo­cal Ap­proved Prod­ucts Pol­icy will likely be adopted at its Re­gional Strat­egy and Pol­icy Com­mit­tee’s first meet­ing of 2015.

Ma­nurewa Lo­cal Board wants the shops banned from the sub­urbs and none within 100 me­tres of ‘‘sen­si­tive sites’’ such as schools, kinder­gartens and churches.

Orakei Lo­cal Board chair­woman Des­ley Simp­son sup­ports Ma­nurewa’s stance, but says there needs to be wider dis­cus­sion around the im­pacts of any new leg­is­la­tion, she says.

‘‘It’s ob­vi­ously a real prob­lem in parts of Auck­land.

‘‘Per­son­ally I’m not a fan of them but how you leg­is­late on these is­sues is very dif­fi­cult.

‘‘You don’t want them avail­able for kids but on the other hand, are they go­ing to go look­ing for it if it’s not around?’’

Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board chair­man Shale Cham­bers says le­gal highs are a ‘‘grow­ing con­cern’’. There are cur­rently ‘‘so­cial is­sues’’ with people us­ing le­gal highs at My­ers Park, he says.

‘‘We’re not talk­ing home­less here, we’re talk­ing about young people, mainly men, con­gre­gat­ing at My­ers Park on le­gal highs caus­ing so­cial is­sues. Mr Cham­bers says ban­ning them is not the an­swer but they do need to be more vig­i­lantly con­trolled.

A by­law would de­ter­mine suit­able lo­ca­tions for le­gal high shops, he says.

‘‘Around the civic cen­tre of Auck­land is not the ap­pro­pri­ate place for such out­lets to be based.

‘‘They cer­tainly need con­trol­ling and restrict­ing at an ap­pro­pri­ate level, just like al­co­hol and pros­ti­tu­tion.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.