Call to beef up legal high controls
Government changes to the legal high industry have not had the desired effect and more controls are needed, some Christchurch City councillors say.
Cr Phil Clearwater yesterday called for more regulation of the industry and greater education about the dangers of psychoactive substances.
"The problems that have been emerging are nothing short of horrendous," Clearwater said. "There needs to be some major education around these drugs as well as . . . some regulatory controls."
Strategy and planning committee deputy chairman Cr Paul Lonsdale agreed: "We need to think of some mechanisms that we can use to control them further because the anti-social problems that happen around these outlets are a problem.
"We need to think quite seriously how we deal with these [outlets] long-term."
Councillors voted unanimously to have council staff begin investigating the development of a Local Approved Products Policy (LAPP).
A LAPP would allow the council to control the density and location of retail outlets licensed to sell party pills and synthetic cannabinoids, particularly how close they are to kindergartens and childcare centres, schools, churches, community and health facilities.
The community will need to be consulted first, but it is possible such controls could be in place by April if the council agrees to fast-track the LAPP's development.
Council staff will undertake consultation with key stakeholders in December and January before reporting back to council in February on how to proceed with Christchurch's LAPP.