Stores with­draw prod­uct

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By HARKAN­WAL SINGH

Syn­thetic cannabis is a huge concern for the po­lice and the Mata­mata com­mu­nity, says Se­nior Sergeant Rod Carpin­ter.

Some brands of Kronic have been banned by the Gov­ern­ment and a fur­ther re­view is un­der way to make amend­ments to the Mis­use of Drugs Act.

‘‘Some ado­les­cents por­tray that it is a legal way to sam­ple the ef­fects of an il­le­gal sub­stance,’’ Mr Carpin­ter said.

The so-called legal highs have come un­der scrutiny. Eight sub­stances were banned re­cently in Aus­tralia.

Mata­mata youth were at se­ri­ous risk of be­com­ing de­pen­dent on syn­thetic cannabis prod­ucts, said Stephen Preb­ble from Starfish So­cial Ser­vices.

Mr Preb­ble said there were young reg­u­lar users in Mata­mata who ex­hib­ited the char­ac­ter­is­tics of de­pen­dent users.

‘‘Young peo­ple might have used cannabis in the past and due to court re­stric­tions are un­der cur­few, so they can’t use the il­le­gal sub­stances but they can quite eas­ily go to the dairy,’’ he said. ‘‘They can buy the legal cannabis sub­stances and get around cur­few in a sense, buy­ing what they can over the counter.’’

Syn­thetic cannabis can only be sold to peo­ple aged 18 and over.

But the con­tro­ver­sial sub­stance is find­ing its way into the hands of young peo­ple.

‘‘Young peo­ple be­low the legal age of pur­chase; as young as 15, are us­ing it reg­u­larly,’’ said Mr Preb­ble.

The users dis­play symp­toms of with­drawal if the prod­uct is un­avail­able, such as ir­ri­tabil­ity, anx­i­ety and ag­gres­sion.

Some store own­ers in Mata­mata have with­drawn the prod­ucts af­ter dis­cus­sion with the po­lice.

‘‘It is very heart­en­ing to show com­mu­nity re­spon­si­bil­ity about a syn­thetic prod­uct that has same side ef­fects as an il­le­gal sub­stance,’’ Mr Carpin­ter said.

But the prod­ucts re­main widely avail­able.

Mr Preb­ble said the sooner the prod­ucts were banned in dairies the bet­ter.

‘‘Young peo­ple would be us­ing it and it is go­ing to af­fect their school­ing.

‘‘ It is go­ing to af­fect as­pects of their lives.’’

Se­nior Sergeant Rod Carpin­ter said the po­lice were aware that stu­dents had been ex­per­i­ment­ing.

‘‘We strongly rec­om­mend that par­ents make all at­tempts to dis­cour­age this ex­per­i­men­ta­tion.’’

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