LAPP lands in com­mu­nity

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By JO McKEN­ZIE-McLEAN

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.

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