We all say no to selling fake dope

Synthetic cannabis is addictive, it is dangerous, it is in the hands of our young people and it is hurting Taranaki.

Today, the Taranaki Daily News calls on the handful of retailers who still sell it to stop. Our stance is backed by many well-known and respected Taranaki and New Zealand identities, and hundreds of readers in our online poll.

When synthetic cannabis first appeared on shop shelves it was on the back of the party-pill saga, which resulted in lines containing the chemical BZP being made illegal.

Party pills were commonly bought at liquor outlets and used by young people dancing at clubs and pubs. It was not long before we heard the horror stories about them.

Synthetic cannabis appeals to a younger, more vulnerable, market. It is sold at dairies rather than at liquor outlets, and competes with Coke and lollies for the dollars in teenagers' pockets. The consequences for many families have been tragic.

Retailers continue to sell the product, at $20 a time, because it remains legal to do so.

They may argue that alcohol and cigarettes are also at the heart of many of this country's social and health problems.

We say those reasons should not be presented as an excuse for providing a service that is a fraction of a degree removed from that of a tinny house.

Synthetic cannabis is a plague on our houses, our message to those selling it is simple: Stop now.

- Roy Pilott, editor



Waitara's High St Dairy featured on a list of retailers selling synthetic cannabis products in yesterday's Taranaki Daily News - this is not correct.

Senior Sergeant Matt Prendergast said when the list was provided to the newspaper the dairy's owners had not signed the campaign not to stock the products.

"I have since spoken to the owner and they've given me an assurance that they have never sold it," Mr Prendergast said.

He apologised for any confusion.

Mr Prendergast said a positive outcome from the police's week-long campaign was that very few retailers wanted be associated with the products.

Taranaki Daily News