Tweed dodges synthetic drugs bullet
THE State Government's ban on synthetic drugs this week generated lots of headlines, but there's little sign that the substances were even a problem on the Tweed.
The ban of products like Kronic and Black Widow came after the death of 17-year-old Sydney boy Henry Kwan, who jumped to his death after taking a substance that mimics the effects of LSD.
Since Tuesday, 120 inspectors from the Department of Fair Trading have been sent to tobacconists, sex shops and other stores throughout the state to enforce the ban.
But despite our region's reputation for enthusiastically embracing mind-altering substances, Tweed-Byron Local Area Command duty officer Inspector Bill Darnell said there was little evidence that they were in use here.
Such substances were rarely encountered by local police, Insp Darnell said.
I tried it at home and thought I was dying...it was the first time in my life I had tried this sort of thing and I couldn't move.
The Northern Rivers Area Health Service has no information in relation to people presenting to hospital resulting from synthetic drug use in the area, a spokeswoman said.
The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre has only in recent years begun to research synthetic drugs so information on their use remains sketchy.
"We started asking regular ecstasy users specifically about their use of and experiences with emerging psychoactive drugs in 2010," said Dr Lucy Burns, the centre's director of drug trends monitoring.
Meanwhile, the founder of the Uki-based Happy High Herb Company which has outlets in the Tweed enthusiastically supports the ban.
Founder Ray Thorpe said his business had never sold the banned substances despite reports to the contrary in the national media.
Mr Thorpe said he had been sent many samples of the products but he refused to sell them, especially after testing a synthetic cannabinoid out.
"I tried it at home and I thought I was dying ... it was the first time in my life I had tried this sort of thing and I couldn't move," he said.
"I called the person who sent the sample and said how dare you send products like that, this stuff is harmful."
Fair Trading minister Anthony Roberts has called on the federal government to help make the ban permanent and national.
- White revolver
- Ash Inferno
- Black Widow
- Buddah Express Black Label
- Iblaze Tropic Thunder
- Galaxy Ultra Nova
- Circus Deluxe
- Vortex Inferno
- Herbal Incense
- King Karma
- Montana Madness