“The simplest easiest method to achieve that [getting cannabis and other controlled drugs under the auspices of the PSA] is a Parliamentary amendment to remove the clause that excludes all substances prohibited by the Misuse of Drugs Act.” per Gary Chiles
Hear hear. It will be very easy to delete subsection 9(3) of the PSA once there is a suitable scientific model for testing the substance’s risk to human health and people assume the responsibility of following the guidelines, directions and compliance rules attentively.
I am concerned for the problems being voiced by people’s “individual anecdote” nonetheless. To ignore the same or similar anecdotal evidence in these high numbers can not be justified by saying their observations or experiences are not scientifically backed. If it were only one or two people then it could arguably be the genetic makeup of the individual that has created such incidents but to hear of so many people having problems should warrant concern.To have incited a group of parents to take the drastic action of burning down that “herbal highs” shop in Invercargill indicates to me that the most primeval instincts of parents for the survival of their offspring have been tapped. I don’t think those primeval instincts are set off from “witch burning” (which is looking for an excuse for an existing problem and blaming something that has no causal connection); they are usually set off by seeing other people’s children’s lives being seriously harmed and finding the common cause then doing whatever it takes to preserve the survival of the offspring.
This doesn’t make the PSA a bad Act – apart from subsection 9(3) I believe it’s a great Act – except for two things arising from it that may have contributed to the numbers of negative experiences happening with “herbal highs”:
(a) it possibly gives a misleading stamp of government authority of safety to people. This might be stopping people from being as cautious as they might otherwise be. This misleading presumption of safety might well lend itself to a young adult taking too much of the stuff. My personal suspicion is that if they have passed the safety test then there is a good chance that people are taking far too much of it so that the test for “low risk” is no longer valid. In almost all the videos I have watched of the people who have used it and had problems, they say “I used it every day, all day” type of thing ; and
(b) it does indicate that the “low risk” testing regime for approval as applied by the Regulatory Authority is not fully adequate or (if my suspicion is correct that the dangers are in excessive use) then there is insufficient warning of low risk usage – although there are guidelines on the packaging.“Substance testing hasn’t yet been implemented, but that hasn’t stopped research that provides evidence that cannabis, and synthetic cannabis are BOTH low risk substances. Thanks to Dr Geoff Noller, the “reefer madness” moral panic about synthetic cannabis is exposed as having no connection with reality.” per Gary ChilesPress Release: NZ research confirms synthetic cannabis is low risk Written by Legal Highs NZ on April 10, 2014. Posted in Alcohol, Psychoactive Substances, Synthetic CannabisThe STAR Trust today called for an end to the discrimination against consumers of synthetic cannabis.
“The data suggest that reported harms are primarily occurring outside the parameters of product guidelines and legal compliance.” (from the above article)
This confirms my suspicion. For example, in the news story below, the boy is underage and taking far too much, far too often.
But the main point is, I think, that the underlying reasons for his desire to “get high” are not being addressed by him and his parents.
I have a child staying in my home at the moment whose mother’s boyfriend has beaten him up. He wants to get high to alleviate his anxiety and sorrow. He is 14 years old. His mother and he need help. I imagine her story will be complicated and stressful.
I bet his story and her story are like many others in this country: Broken families, instability, unhappiness. Ignoring the guidelines again.Legal highs very dangerous: Ex-user Heavy synthetic cannabis use eventually led to a five-day stay in an intensive care unit for teen Liam Kent. “He became addicted straight away and his use was so heavy he couldn’t go more than an hour without getting high”
Psychoactive Substances – the importance of following product guidelines