You TubeFacebookTwitterflickrGoogle plus
Saturday, 23 March 2019 08:16 am

Legal highs are on their way back, but public can have their say

Oct 22nd, 2014 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Lead Story

cosmic shop top picJUST when you thought they were gone, psychoactive drugs and legal highs are scheduled for a comeback in May 2015.

Senior policy advisor at the Wellington City Council Mark Jones says whether we like it or not, the drugs may come back and be sold.

“We have to do the best within our power and what the central government allows us to do,” he says.

Wellington city councillors meet tomorrow to discuss where the substances will be sold before public consultation running until December 15.

The temporary ban against the drugs came into place in May this year, and the Government has plans to make it legal for certain products to be sold if they pass new tests.

Places wanting to sell the substances again will have to gain permission from the Ministry of Health who will work with the police to enforce laws around the approved products.

Councils such as Wellington can put in place a local policy to restrict where the substances are sold but could not ban approved products from being sold by Ministry of Health licensed premises in the district.

The report being considered by the council’s sport and recreation committee says they cannot make it unpractical for licensed premises to sell the psychoactive substances.

The products will have undergone expert testing to ensure they are a low risk of harm to the users.

The Ministry of Health is quoted in the council report as saying that the testing for the new drugs will be intense.

“If regular tobacco and alcohol products were to go through the process they would probably fail,” the ministry says.

Tests will include checking for low risk toxic and addictive properties, potential for misuse, interactions with alcohol and impacts on vulnerable populations.

Recommendations have been made about where the substances can be sold, and the repot lists four options.

The preferred option for where the drugs will be sold is in the southern CBD at least 200 metres away high schools and the YMCA, 50 metres from primary schools, pre-schools and kindergartens, and 200 metres from all other retail or internet sales premises that are approved to sell the substances.

The second option is the same area, but at least 400 metres from high schools and the YMCA, 50 metres from primary, pre-school and kindergartens, and 180 metres from all other retail or internet stores that will sell the substances.

The third alternative is within the areas of Cuba St, east Dixon St, east Manners St, and Courtney Place, at least 200 metres from high schools and the YMCA, 50 metres from primary schools, pre-schools and kindergartens, and 60 metres from all other retail or internet stores that will sell the substances.

Finally, the council could vote in favour of not having a policy in place at all, which means the substances would not have a boundary on where they can be sold.

A staff member at Cosmic on Cuba Street was aware that the ban was only temporary but was not allowed to comment on the situation.

The Salvation Army said in the meeting agenda the substances should not be made too inaccessible because it would encourage illicit sales.

NewsWire approached the Salvation Army for comment on its stance, but have not responded at the time of publishing.

The council will decide tomorrow on the consultation to take place from November 4 to December 15.

The consultation will be followed by an oral hearing early next year.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

is a Whitireia journalism student
Email this author | All posts by

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Radio News