Some users will 'flip out' when ban goes into force

Carl Lapham.
Carl Lapham.
Some synthetic drug users will find other ways of getting high once synthetic drugs are banned, a Dunedin legal-high seller says.

Cupid Shop owner Carl Lapham said some users would ''flip out'' in a couple of weeks' time when Parliament passes urgent legislation to ban synthetic drugs.

''There'll be that many going cold turkey. They'll all want the help at the same time, and the health department won't have the resources to cope with it.''

Not all users of synthetic highs were badly affected: some held down jobs, and had normal lives, he said.

For many, it was akin to having a glass of wine with a meal, he said.

''We all have our vices ... we all do something in our life that we wish we didn't.''

Some people should not drink alcohol or gamble, but those activities were not banned, he said.

He told the Otago Daily Times yesterday it was too early for users to stockpile.

''Pay days start [Tuesday], Wednesday, Thursday.

''Not the sort of question you'd ask today.

''Nobody's stocking up, because they haven't got any money in their pocket.''

He had sympathy with opponents, but ''I'm not the moral police''.

''At the end of the day, I can see for and against.''

Dunedin father Wayne McFadyen, whose 26-year-old son was using synthetic drugs again after going clean for about six months, blamed the Government for not acting sooner and more decisively.

''I hold the Government totally responsible. They're the ones allowing it.

''The Government don't care because we're the poor people ... they don't give a stuff about the community,'' he said.

He believed Parliament should be recalled from recess immediately to introduce an outright ban.

Mr McFadyen said his son relapsed about a month ago, and ''this time round he's worse''.

He was ''out of control'' and desperately needed help.

Dunedin toxicologist Dr Leo Schep, of the National Poisons Centre in Dunedin, said the centre was pleased with the impending ban, which would reduce harm caused by the substances.

Their legality gave users a false sense of security, Dr Schep said.

Legal highs

Firstly there should be no demonising of the users of these products. When you can walk into a shop and buy something off the shelf, there is a natural assumption that what you are buying is safe. Let's also remember these products were marketed as 'natural highs' initially, giving consumers and possibly the retailer an even higher degree of confidence in their safety.

If you are a consumer of alcohol, you have no room to criticise those that partake in legal highs. Alcohol is a drug, so why the media continually refer to 'drugs and alcohol' is beyond me.  

We should not throw stones and condemn the users of synthetic cannabis as 'losers' and 'idiots'. It would be ironic to walk into a local bar hearing a group of people complaining about 'synthetics users' while knocking backing a glass before popping outside for a cigarette. Yes, alcohol is legal for those over 18, and so are synthetics, for the next couple of weeks at least.  

There are also 4500 tobacco related deaths in NZ per year, I can walk into a dairy and buy the addictive drug nicotine any time I wish. As a society are we simply naive or just simple?  [Abridged]

Get off the grass

libellule: Mr Lapham has done nothing wrong here. He's selling a legal product and just trying to make a living, like the rest of us.

Next thing you will be telling us that the bottle store is responsible  because they sold booze to someone who then drunk it and drove and killed someone. [Abridged]


Legal highs suppliers

Well Mr Lapham..if they flip out maybe you should feel part responsible as a supplier of that stuff. Obviously all you are worry about is the mighty dollar. How can you be genuine about your comments when you are playing the biggest part in this addiction problem?

The only reason to use it

Speedfreak43 is bang on the money. Nobody in my workplace would ever have touched this stuff if it wasn't for the bosses' determination to push through a badly thought out, unclear and threatening random drug testing programme. 

The Star Trust legal highs advocacy group have annual awards for leaders in their industry. I nominate any manager who is making it his or her personal mission to hunt down drug users, effectively following them home and telling workers how to live their lives off the job and in the weekends (I have no objection to an expectation workers not be impaired on the job. That is perfectly reasonable)

It's time to stop demonising recreational drug users. Sure, some of the extreme cases we hear about are shocking and unaccepable. However, most drug users are perfectly responsible and ordinary people, not what typically winds up in the news. 

A big tick to you

I wish we could give a tick on this feedback because I would give you one Nexus. You said it all- I agree.

You can afford to buy them

Nexus: If you really wanted to that is. It's like you say, all about priorities.

I'm happy to live simple and continue to smoke. That's my choice and i won't be pressured to quit by some in government who keep increasing prices on their assumption that it's for my own good. Im damned if i will conform to their wishes as there is still some freedom of choice in this country.

And as you state, a "person can live on very little in the way of money" and I do, even after buying my cigarettes.

Old Peyote Blues

H, You always make a good case, but, actually, the present debate is not about the substances to which you allude: naturally occuring hallucinogenics or the former psych medicine, LSD. Synth, we are told is addictive, thus not for a short time. Evacuating and secretion of blood cannot be a good time. It is, however, a sign that all is not well. I understand the original purpose of mind altering substances was sacramental, reserved for shamanic ritual. Now the whole world's doing it, how wonderful to be non-conformist.

Correct Sir

Thanks for a clearly thought out comment nexus

I can't afford to buy them

I can't afford to buy them!  One lucky dip Lotto ticket equals 4 loaves of bread; one bottle of wine buys 8-10 essential food items, as does a packet of cigarettes, so "relaxing" with highs of whatever type shows either a surplus of money or priorities are being confused/compromised. Surprisingly enough, a person can live on very little in the way of money if the buying choices are wise.

Natural joy isn't universally available

"Surely, being alive and living where we do is enough to give us all hope each day" according to nexus, who is either abnormally lucky in his circumstances or was blessed by fate with a joyful temperament of unquenchable optimism.  

Don't assume that everyone is the same, nexus.  Most people experience dullness in their work and personal lives, stress coping with the duties and obligations, and, like people of nearly all cultures throughout as much of history as we know about, want to have other experiences sometimes.  Pleasure, for instance.  Relief from the daily grind.  A brief journey into a world where colours, sounds, scents and flavours are brightened, before a return to everyday experience.  

The use of intoxicants, mind-altering substances, is so much a part of societies for so long I think it can realistically be called "normal". Some people use the substances seldom or never; mostly where there are no forces moderating their personal preferences they use in moderation; and some make messes of themselves by using more than their minds and bodies can cope with.

Everybody relaxes in different ways

Nexus: I guess you don't partake in cigarettes, the odd drink or buy Lotto either?

Maybe beneficiaries are using them to escape, for a short time, the position they find themselves in. For others, maybe it's to escape from the pressures of work and family life, or just as a social thing.

Everybody relaxes in different ways. What may work for you may not work for others. 

Workplace testing is a fraud

"The only synthetic users I know use simply for the fact of workplace drug testing," says speedfreak43, pointing out a sadly obvious fact that has escaped MPs and other bansters.  The fact that a substance can be detected is a ludicrously inept way of evaluating its effect on a person's ability perform tasks.

Without a basic standard of reaction speed and judgement required for the task, be it driving, using machinery or voting on legislation, test results are meaningless.  Alcohol becomes untraceable long before marijuana.  Exhaustion and distractibility are not tested for at all.  Testing is a cash cow for developers of tests.  Its effectiveness in reducing harm caused by carelessness, recklessness and other impairments is disproportionately low compared with its cost to businesses and society, and its unintended consequences.  

By all means test for ability to perform safely.  Current protocols, aggressively marketed, play on fear and the box-ticking priorities of OSH, ACC etc that use rule compliance as if it were  the same as situation-appropriate behaviour in the workplace.  

Legal highs

I'm waiting to be told why "highs" are necessary at all. Surely, being alive and living where we do is enough to give us all hope each day.  Apart from that, who can afford to buy them, except, as it appears, beneficiaries?   What a total waste of money and life.

Some users will flip out?

Maybe so, but I think most will go back to smoking weed which is what they were doing prior. The only synthetic users I know use simply for the fact of workplace drug testing, and I suggest that this along with the fact synthetics are readily available is why most smoke them.

No doubt that weed growers will be rubbing their hands together at the perfect timing (for growers) as most will  have recently harvested.

As for those subject to workplace testing, I guess most if not all of them will be seeking a new job that does not involve testing. Maybe not this week but certainly in the near future.

I'm against this rubbish

I'm against this rubbish being sold but Mr McFadyen blaming the government is strange. If a drunk driver kills someone do you blame the driver for being drunk while driving or do you blame the government for allowing alcohol to be sold?



So, what's new?

Users who flip out when on it will flip out when they can't get it? Some just flip out regardless. The opinion of a seller of the product is hardly neutral. No Mr Lapham, it is nowhere near akin to having a glass of wine with a meal.

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