Syn­thetic cannabis sub­stances are still be­ing sold legally

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By BY CHE BAKER

A 24-year-old Alexan­dra man ad­dicted to smok­ing syn­thetic cannabis prod­ucts says he smokes it be­cause it is le­gal, eas­ier to get than cannabis and bet­ter value for money. How­ever, Cen­tral Otago po­lice say the prod­ucts are caus­ing de­struc­tion in the com­mu­nity. The man, who is un­em­ployed, said he spends at least $300 a week on syn­thetic cannabis, ‘‘hus­sling’’ the money needed to buy it. He vis­its the only re­tailer in Cen­tral Otago that sells the prod­ucts, C and C Traders, in Alexan­dra, once a day to buy it. ‘‘I’m sur­prised how many pro­fes­sional peo­ple you see in there. Peo­ple in the work force op­er­at­ing heavy ma­chin­ery who should not be buy­ing it.’’ He be­gan smok­ing K2 four months ago af­ter most of his friends gave up smok­ing cannabis and turned to syn­thetic drugs. De­spite K2 be­ing taken off the mar­ket last week he was likely to find an­other prod­uct to smoke. Three weeks ago he tried to quit but failed af­ter he be­came an­gry, woke from sleep in sweats or could not sleep with­out it. ‘‘Not even 18 hours into it [try­ing to quit] I was freak­ing out and needed to have it. I drove to Queen­stown to get it.’’ He said he smoked the prod­uct

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