News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


The Lows of Legal Highs

For immediate release

“The Lows of Legal Highs”


Polyfest 2014 will mark launch of a public campaign to educate rangatahi about the harmful effects of synthetic cannabis or legal highs and press for increased regulation around sales.

“These are chemicals our whānau are putting into their bodies and they have no idea what these chemicals are or what they do. We have no idea what long-term effects these drugs have, ” says Māori Public Health advocate, Antony Thompson.

Mr Thompson is a Practice Leader for Māori Public Health for Te Ha Oranga, a Māori health organisation under Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua, and lead co-ordinator of Māori Public Health collective Whānau Whānui.

“Although a high can be as brief as five minutes, the effects of withdrawal can last several days,” he says.

For the first time Mr Thompson says his organisation will use tablets to collect survey responses from some of the 90,000 young people and their families expected to attend the popular Auckland event.

“At Polyfest we want to educate rangatahi to make informed decisions. At the same time we want to know what they think about it so we can advocate for better local and national government regulation around this kaupapa. The tablets are really portable and teen-friendly. The technology makes it so much easier to collect and collate this kind of data,” he says.

This year Auckland Council will call for submissions on local regulation of synthethic cannabis. The new Psychoactive Substances Act passed last year gives local councils the authority to limit where vendors can sell legal highs.

“Auckland is behind the eight ball. Other councils such as Hamilton, Tauranga and Palmerston North have already brought in increased regulation to restrict where vendors can sell their drugs. We are lucky to have the support of the Manurewa Local Board who are advocating for a 1km restriction zone on these stores around all schools, early childhood education centres, places of worship, community halls and community facilities but we need to do more.”

He says, “Regulation does work. When the act was passed last year the number of vendors nationwide dropped from 3-4000 outlets selling around 200-300 different products to 170 selling only about 41 products.”

“Now is the time to make it known that synthetic cannabis is no good for our whanau and is hurting the ones we love. I’m seeing other districts in New Zealand regulate and control these drugs and think its time for Auckland to do the same.”


Background information/links:

Te Hapai Hauora Tapui – Information on Legal Highs

Odyssey House

http://www.alcoholdrughelp.org.nz/a-to-z-of-drugs/synthetic-cannabis/

http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/regulation-health-and-disability-syst...

The Act

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2013/0053/latest/DLM5042921.ht...

Quickfacts about the act


http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/regulation-health-and-disability-syst...

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: From Here And There

Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story
by Helene Wong.
This is the fascinating story of Helene Wong, born in 1949 in Taihape to Chinese parents: her mother, born soon after her parents migrated here, and her father, born in China but sent to relatives in Taihape at seven to get an education in English. More>>

Chiku: Hamilton Zoo's Baby Chimpanzee Named

Hamilton Zoo has named its three-month-old baby chimpanzee after a month-long public naming competition through the popular zoo’s website. The name chosen is Chiku, a Swahili name for girls meaning "talker" or "one who chatters". More>>

Game Over: Trans-Tasman Netball League To Discontinue

Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand have confirmed that the existing ANZ Championship format will discontinue after the current 2016 season, with both organisations to form national netball leagues in their respective countries. More>>

NZSO Review: Stephen Hough Is Perfection-Plus

He took risks, and leant into the music when required. But you also felt that every moment of his playing made sense in the wider picture of the piece. Playing alongside him, the NZSO were wonderful as ever, and their guest conductor, Gustavo Gimeno, coaxed from them a slightly darker, edgier sound than I’m used to hearing. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: King Lear At Circa

In order to celebrate it's 40th birthday, it is perhaps fitting that Circa Theatre should pick a production of 'King Lear,' since it's also somewhat fortuitously Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. If some of the more cerebral poetry is lost in Michael Hurst's streamlined, full throttle production, it's more than made up for by plenty of lascivious violence designed to entertain the groundlings. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Tauranga Books Festival

Escape to Tauranga for Queen’s Birthday weekend and an ideas and books-focused festival that includes performance, discussion, story-telling, workshops and an Italian-theme morning tea. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news