LAPP lands in community
Nearly 70 per cent of Central Otago people who participated in a survey about psychoactive substances know of a person who might be addicted, the survey shows.
The findings were presented at a Central Otago District Council meeting last week in which councillors adopted a Draft Local Approved Products Policy (LAPP).
The policy will go out for public consultation from Saturday.
Planning and Environment manager Louise van der Voort said in order to understand community views on psychoactive substances and whether there was a need for a policy, a survey was conducted through Survey Monkey on Facebook.
The survey attracted 438 responses from the district. Key findings showed: ■ 79 per cent of respondents had not tried legal highs while 21 per cent had.
■ Of those who had tried legal highs, 58 per cent tried them once, while 10 per cent used them more than three times a week.
■ 57 per cent of people know a person/s who uses legal highs and 69 per cent know of a person/s who might be addicted.
■ 97 per cent of respondents did not believe there were any positives to using legal highs.
■ 93 per cent said there should be control around the location of businesses selling legal highs.
The policy was developed using the survey results and a public meeting in Alexandra which attracted more than 100 people who voiced concerns about psychoactive substances in the community.
The Draft LAPP regulates the location of premises from which approved products may be sold under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013.
Those gathered at the community meeting agreed unanimously that they did not want the products in their community.
Van der Voort said when reviewing the feedback it became apparent if the council imposed the suggested controls on the location of premises it would create an effective prohibition on premises selling approved products, thus rendering the policy illegal.
Instead the draft policy reduced the separation distance of premises to sensitive sites to 200m and amended the definition of sensitive sites to include sites that accommodate either young or vulnerable people, or were clearly incompatible with premises selling approved products.
The council had legal advice it could not restrict hours.