A policeman talks to Calvin Hooper about his protest in
Dunedin yesterday against synthetic cannabis. Photo by
A concerned parent picketing outside a store which sells
Dunedin synthetic cannabis sparked a heated debate yesterday.
Farmer Calvin Hooper, of Blackhead, said he picketed outside
Cosmic Corner in George St yesterday because his adult child
was admitted to Wakari Hospital on Saturday after smoking the
synthetic cannabis Tai High.
''Our child has the tendency to try something once and
doesn't know how to stop.''
He asked the ODT not to publish his child's gender and
age to protect his child, who wanted to stop smoking
synthetic cannabis but was unable to.
The child had negative reactions after smoking synthetic
cannabis, such K2 and Chronic, and had been admitted to
Wakari Hospital before.
Mr Hooper wanted all synthetic cannabis to be banned and for
politicians to act immediately.
Yesterday, he protested using an amplified microphone and
holding a ''Stop all legal highs, they are killing our kids.
Stop now'' sign.
A policeman told him he could continue his protest as long as
he did not obstruct the footpath, or access to the store.
Mr Hooper said he would continue his protest throughout the
As he protested yesterday, a 22-year-old University of Otago
student, of Auckland, who did not want to be named, said if
someone had a negative reaction from smoking synthetic
cannabis, the blame should lie with the smoker rather than
the store that sold it, and Mr Hooper was trying to shift the
blame to the store.
The student said banning the sale of synthetic cannabis would
not protect those people who could not protect themselves.
A group of three women passing disagreed with the student and
shook Mr Hooper's hand in support.
''A lot of parents will wholeheartedly agree with what he is
doing,'' a woman said.
Cosmic Corner founder Mark Carswell, who is overseas, did not
respond to emails yesterday.