Mother upset saleswoman sold son synthetic cannabis

A Mosgiel woman is angry after synthetic cannabis was sold to her 16-year-old son yesterday.

The woman, who later went to the shop and confronted the saleswoman, realised something was amiss when her partner noticed $13 was missing from his wallet.

The concerned mother rushed to the bus stop where her 16-year-old son was due to be picked up and saw him leaving the shop with synthetic cannabis.

He ran away, so she confronted the saleswoman in the shop, who said her son had produced identification of an 18-year-old to buy the product, the Mosgiel mother said.

''He doesn't even look 18 ... He's my blue-eyed boy.''

Shops that sold synthetic cannabis were destroying families, she said.

''I hope karma comes back and bites them, because it's destroying my family.

''I hate waking up daily because of this, and walking on eggshells around the house. [I'm] just trying to be a protective mum thinking: `What have I done? What have I stuffed up?'''We work hard, we're tough on the kids. They have chores. We go camping at Christmas time.

''It's killing me emotionally, financially, and it's killing my family.''

Last September, her son assaulted her when she confronted him about the smell of synthetic cannabis in his room.

When he wasn't smoking synthetic cannabis, he was a ''good kid'', but when he smoked the substance his personality changed, she said.

''Last night he was doing chores and this morning he's stealing money.''

She had lodged a complaint against the shop with Mosgiel police, she said.

Constable Greg Park, of Mosgiel, said police would inform the Health Ministry that a 16-year-old youth was sold a synthetic cannabis product, Illusion, in Mosgiel yesterday.

Const Park said there was no ''direct evidence'' for use in a court and the shop owner had told police the youth had given identification to prove he was aged 18.

''The [shop owner] hasn't done a very good job. They can't tell me what ID was used and they've got no records to back up their claim, but at this stage that's as far as it's gone.''

The saleswoman told the Otago Daily Times she sold the synthetic cannabis to the youth yesterday and she had not asked him for identification.

However, he was a regular customer and had previously produced identification for an 18-year-old. She was upset and ''felt sick'' to have sold synthetic cannabis to a youth, she said.


Youth and drug policy

This case is yet another where the 'law' fails all of us... irrespective of the vendor, under black market conditions there are no controls, but worse, it creates unintended consequences to both users and non-users. What is required is the immediate implementation of the 2008 'restricted substances regulations' that recognises and embraces adult choices while really protecting kids. Of course its present limitation is that it doesn't address cannabis but that is a function of an accident of history more than evidence and reason. Its inclusion solves a raft of identified impediments to health promotion, in particular where youth are 'at risk'.

We have to move beyond prohibition, not because regulatory models are more honest and just but also because it is the least intrusive and lowest cost solution that leaves $100s of millions free to address and target problematic use, protect youth, and meaningfully cease driving people to drink! (and other more harmful intoxicants). Instead of testing drugs at huge expense (as an artificial barrier to market) we should internalise the benefits of legal regulation with an empowered parental and social solution. Prohibition sucks. There is nothing in this story that validates prohibition.

Cannabis hazard

jway, you are quite wrong, as medical research findings can attest. The problem with prohibition is that supply is controlled by organised crime. That would make safety of product unreliable. It is medically proven that cannabis can damage brain function of teenagers. Is this your prescription to keep children safe?

Reality Check...

Kids/young adults, have been stealing things from family medicine cabinets, smoking cannabis, popping pills and some too ridiculous to mention methods, in their quest to experiment with mind altering substances for as long as we can remember. I am certain we can all remember someone who knew someone who had a bad experience with the garden variety Datura plant. 

It is virtually impossible to 'ban' everything to keep our young people from doing things we do not approve of....history tells us they will always find a way. Case in point, the synthetic cannabis industry exists entirely as a result of the legal status of cannabis. 

Synthetic cannabis is a biological structure with literally millions of alternative options. Imagine the letters of the alphabet, as many ways as you can rearrange the letters you can rearrange the structures, therefore always keeping one step ahead of those tasked with banning these products.


Put children's safety first

Natural cannabis is significantly safer than this synthetic stuff. In fact "synthetic marijuana" should never be called that as it has nothing to do with natural cannabis.

Natural cannabis has repeatedly been proven to not cause cancer, heart disease, brain damage, liver disease, emphysema, or any other significant health issue, and its addiction potential is about on par with coffee.

The only reason there's any demand at all for this synthetic stuff at all is because natural cannabis is illegal. We need to put the safety of our children first and legalise natural cannabis like beer and wine! 


I was under the impression that all that rubbish was outlawed.

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