Syn­thetic drug sup­pli­ers a pub­lic en­emy

The Southland Times - - COMMENT&OPINION -

If you’re plan­ning to use syn­thetic drugs right now, you should know two things. (Three, if you want to in­clude a re­minder of those 20 re­cently dead New Zealan­ders.)

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-areyou-look­ing-at . . I’m king-of-the­world. . . 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

in this em­phat­i­cally il­le­gal, ut­terly un­reg­u­lated, fiercely com­pet­i­tive in­dus­try.

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. That de­scrip­tion is now out of favour with of­fi­cial­dom be­cause the as­so­ci­a­tion with the con­tentious, but noth­ing like as nox­ious, mar­i­juana is just too spu­ri­ous.

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.

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

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. T

hat’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 a 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 failed af­ter the test­ing process re­quired, in some cases, test­ing on an­i­mals.

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

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