The Salvation Army is not letting the issue of the sale of legal highs slide.
Salvation Army community ministries volunteer and social justice advocate Wayne Matthews, along with church member Chelsea Browning, held placards outside a Hawera outlet selling psychoactive substances for up to two hours yesterday.
The shop has been issued the licence - by the Ministry of Health and another shop in Hawera has also been granted approval.
Up to eight Taranaki retailers have applied for licences to sell the products.
Both Mr Matthews and Mrs Browning were also joined by Hawera-Normanby ward councillor hopeful Gareth Kahui, urging the Hawera community to make a stand against legal highs.
Just three weeks ago, a group of Sallies, including Salvation Army auxiliary captains Rob and Maureen Gardiner, braved the bitter cold for hours as they protested outside the tobacconist's shop.
Mrs Browning said she had friends who used the substance and were still on it despite efforts to stop.
"It's because it can get a bit hard to get off it," she said.
Mr Matthews said about seven other church members stopped by over the two-hour period to play their part in the picketing.
But the protest was not without opposition. "We had a few people who were angry we were protesting against the sale of legal highs," Mr Matthews said.
The tobacconist, who does not want to be identified, was interviewed in Mandarin.
He told the Taranaki Daily News he was within his legal rights to sell the product.
"I'm here doing business," he said.
The ministry says no further applications can be made as the application period had closed last month.
The Psychoactive Substance Acts 2013 bans the sales of psychoactive products from dairies, convenience and grocery stores, supermarkets, service stations and liquor outlets.
All psychoactive products must be labelled with health warnings, a list of the active ingredients in them, the contact details for the manufacturer or distributor, and they must also have the telephone number of the National Poisons Centre.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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