Synthetic dope off shelves

20:50, May 25 2013

A Stratford dairy owner has buckled under pressure and stopped selling synthetic cannabis in his central Taranaki stores.

Southern Dairy owner Peter Chen, who also owns Eltham Lotto Dairy, had recently been the subject of an intense campaign to rid the area of legal highs.

Mr Chen relented after his dairy was burgled twice recently, picketed during a protest, and was visited by police, south Taranaki MP Chester Borrows and Stratford Mayor Neil Volzke.

Mr Chen said his family were good people and he wanted the community to know that.

"We don't want the community to think we are only bad people," he said.

"There's too much trouble for selling that stuff so we have made the decision not to sell it."

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Stratford police youth aid officer Pete Wright said he was delighted by the result.

Community meetings had shown that residents did not want the products in central Taranaki.

"All of the dairies in Stratford have all advised me that they've taken it off the market and Eltham have advised me that they've taken it off the market," he said.

"We think that, if there's not the supply there, the young people won't have as easy access to it and therefore it's got to have a positive effect, in my opinion, on our community."

Mr Wright said attention would now turn to expunging the legal high market in north and south Taranaki.

Taranaki Daily News