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Community key to controlling the sale of ‘legal highs’

Community key to controlling the sale of ‘legal highs’

Last night Hutt City Council considered a number of options to control the sale and minimise the harm of psychoactive substances (legal highs) within Hutt City.

Under The Psychoactive Substances Act 2013, the Council can’t ban the sale of legal highs outright. However, Councils are permitted to establish a “local approved products policy” (LAPP), which can restrict where ‘legal highs’ can be sold and the number of retail outlets permitted.

The Council has identified two preferred sites, from an initial list of five, where psychoactive substances could be sold away from residential areas and recreational facilities.

The sites are the Central Business District (CBD) and Jackson Street Petone between Cuba Street and Victoria Street. Both sites are high traffic, high visibility commercial areas that benefit from a greater level of surveillance from the general public and (in some areas) CTV cameras.

Mayor Ray Wallace said, “The use of psychoactive substances is a community issue. It’s important to Council that the community is given the opportunity to have their say.

“We are particularly keen to hear from people on this issue. Council wants to know whether people agree with the proposal to allow the sale of psychoactive substances only in the CBD and Jackson Street, and how many outlets should be permitted in each location.”

Public notice calling for submissions on this draft LAPP will be given on Tuesday 21 January. Submissions are then open for a month. If anyone wishes to speak to their submission they will be given the opportunity to do so as part of the consultation process.

The Psychoactive Substances Act requires the Council to review this LAPP every five years. Because this is a new area of policy the Council proposes to review the effectiveness of the LAPP in two years’ time, to determine if the outcomes as anticipated are being met.

A decision on the final locations for the sale of psychoactive substances in Hutt City and the number of outlets permitted will be made after considering all submissions received.

ENDS

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