K2 'turned worker into zombie'

No way . . . Monte Carlo Milk Bar owner Mike Casey has put up a sign telling people the store...
No way . . . Monte Carlo Milk Bar owner Mike Casey has put up a sign telling people the store does not sell synthetic cannabis products. The signs have been provided by police to shops in Mosgiel that are not selling the products. Photo by Tim Miller
One Mosgiel business owner, more than most, knows the effect legal highs can have on a small business and its employees.

The business owner, who did not want to be named for legal reasons, contacted Mosgiel Taieri Community Board chairman Bill Feather after a story appeared in The Star about Mr Feather and other community leaders joining together to try to put pressure on sellers of synthetic cannabis in Mosgiel.

The business owner said he had to dismiss one of his employees because of synthetic cannabis use.

"When he first came to us he was a really good worker, but then that stuff just turned him into a zombie."

The employee became forgetful and started to miss large amounts of work because he was using the substance, he said.

"Those people selling this stuff are as guilty as anybody.""They're social parasites and any parent worth their salt wouldn't let their kids even buy an ice cream from the shop.""It is so easy for them to get.

All they have to do is pop down to the dairy at smoko and get some," he said.

Like liquor stores, shops selling legal highs should be required to be licensed and any shops that sold lollies and ice creams should not be allowed to sell it, he said.Senior Sergeant Darryl Lennane said police had gone to retailers in Mosgiel who were able to sell the product and asked them if they would stop.

Those who were not selling synthetic cannabis were given a sign to put up in their store, Snr Sgt Lennane said.

"It is really a case of us trying to find a way we can support those stores not selling it," he said.

Andy's Dairy and Monte Carlo Milk Bar were the only stores which had the signs.

Monte Carlo Milk Bar owner Mike Casey said he had never stocked any of the legal highs that had been on the market.

"I take the view that I wouldn't want people selling it to my kids, so why should I sell it to anybody else?

"I am dead against it and I can see why groups are being formed to try and get rid of it," Mr Casey said.

Knox Milk Bar owner Sam Wang said he had only been at the milk bar for two months, so was unaware of any concerns around K2.

Mr Wang said he only sold to people over the age of 18 and if he stopped selling K2, people would just go to another shop and buy it, meaning he would lose business.

"I only sell to people over 18," he said.

"If the Government stops the selling of K2, then I will stop it straight away."

A Dunedin City Council spokesman said there were no specific bylaws relating to the sale of legal synthetic drugs.

However, if licensed premises were selling legal highs the council could look at the suitability of that business holding a liquor license.


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