Geoff Noller on current synthetic problems

On a previous post Geoff Noller commented, this is worth a separate post:

I think that the current raft of problems we’re facing with synthetics are primarily a clear cut case of the prohibition chickens coming home to roost.

An NZ report in 1973 (the ‘Blake-Palmer’ report) warned that continuing the ban on natural or ‘raw’ cannabis (the Law Commission’s [2011] term) would likely result in a black market – which at that time was barely in existence – and increased use. It proposed education, along with accepting that a generational shift towards drugs other than alcohol might be occurring.

Fast forward 40 years and…gee, maybe someone should have listened.

The Psychotic Substances Act represents a further attempt to engage with this issue and is actually a major shift in NZ’s approach to recreational drug taking. Unfortunately, those responsible for it didn’t appreciate the need for education around drug taking that follows from unlocking the lolly jar, so long kept behind the counter.

As a result we’ve seen possibly thousands of NZ’ers, many of them young and inexperienced, accessing a class of drugs about which they know nothing, far too frequently and heavily.

What that boils down to is that with access to whatever substances, also comes the responsibility of appropriate use. This is something we all have to own.

For those interested in synthetics and an assessment of their current impact in NZ, along with comparators, have a look at a recent report here:

http://www.thestartrust.org/images/pdf/Synthetic%20cannab%20harms%20NZ%20final%20draft-3.pdf

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