Highs go south under council plan

20:01, Sep 02 2014
pat mulvey timaru
Timaru District Council candidate Pat Mulvey.

Legal high sellers in Timaru could be squeezed to the bottom end of Stafford St under a council committee-approved plan.

The Timaru District Council's resource planning and regulation committee yesterday approved a draft policy to limit where legal highs may be sold if synthetic cannabinoids return to shops next year.

The Ministry of Health is producing policy to implement Government legislation which could see legal highs back on the market in 2015.

A report from district council environmental health manager Jonathan Cowie said while the Government's Psychoactive Substances Act prevented local councils from banning legal highs, they could limit where they were sold.

The report recommended limiting sales to shops in a special Stafford St commercial zone which were more than 100 metres from sensitive sites, including the council chambers and the Work and Income offices.

The draft policy would effectively restrict legal high retailers to an area of Stafford St south of Timaru's Theatre Royal.

Committee chair Pat Mulvey said Cowie advised him Stafford St's existing legal high licensees might still be able to sell new drugs once they were approved.

The committee approved the draft policy, which must now be approved by the council after public hearings scheduled for November 3.


The Timaru Herald