Syn­thetic drug sup­pli­ers are a pub­lic en­emy

Manawatu Standard - - COMMENT&OPINION -

If you’re plan­ning to use syn­thetic drugs right now, you should know two things.

First, you have no way of know­ing whether you’ve scored one of the fa­tally toxic ones. Sec­ond, the swine who’s sell­ing to you prob­a­bly doesn’t know either. Or feel trou­bled enough to stop do­ing it.

The lat­est in­car­na­tions of this prod­uct have been tak­ing users be­yond the so far more com­mon­place con­se­quences of drib­bling,vom­it­ing, in­co­her­ent, un­sta­ble, soiled-your­self, what-are-you-looking-at... I’m-king-ofthe-world... or-would-be-if-they­w­eren’t-all-clos­ing-in-on-me mess of de­bil­i­ta­tions.

Those ones taken in ac­cor­dance with the black­hearted man­u­fac­tur­ers’ lack of in­struc­tions are per­fectly ca­pa­ble of ruin­ing you in in­ter­est­ing ways.

But th­ese new ones fea­tur­ing the AMB-FUBINACA in­gre­di­ent can kill you so much more ex­pe­di­tiously. Not that any­one who is still sell­ing the stuff would seem to care, par­tic­u­larly. Not in this em­phat­i­cally il­le­gal, ut­terly un­reg­u­lated, fiercely com­pet­i­tive in­dus­try.

Be­cause there’s a bliz­zard of dirty money up for grabs.

Bereft fam­i­lies, A and E staff, po­lice, coro­ners, all are plead­ing for people not to buy, or sell, the prod­uct pre­vi­ously known as syn­thetic cannabis.

The deaths are com­ing so thick and fast that any­one caught sup­ply­ing syn­thet­ics who tries to por­tray them­selves as ig­no­rant of, let alone in­no­cent in, the re­sult­ing hu­man car­nage, has a mas­sive cred­i­bil­ity prob­lem.

There’s mount­ing ev­i­dence of pub­lic sup­port for re­lax­ing some of the con­straints on the use of cannabis, cer­tainly for med­i­cal rea­sons.

The fact that syn­thet­ics are now more easy to ob­tain, and cheaper, has been cited to sup­port a case for le­gal­is­ing cannabis en­tirely.

The counter ar­gu­ment is that there’s no ev­i­dence to sug­gest try­ing to solve one drug is­sue by in­creas­ing ac­cess to an­other would be an ef­fec­tive ap­proach.

That’s a con­tention that sits oddly along­side the use of, for ex­am­ple, a methadone pro­gramme.

But there’s no get­ting around it that the in­creas­ing use of th­ese al­ways dodgy, some­times hideously dan­ger­ous, syn­thet­ics are a fur­ther re­minder that in the ab­sence of reg­u­lated le­gal prod­ucts, il­le­gal al­ter­na­tives have a much larger mar­ket.

The op­er­a­tional fail­ure of at­tempts in 2014 to cre­ate a reg­u­lated mar­ket for psy­choac­tive sub­stances foundered after the test­ing process re­quired, in some cases, test­ing on an­i­mals. An ugly busi­ness, ad­mit­tedly.

So­ci­ety has some big calls to make here, and the need to sort our­selves out is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly ur­gent.

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