I am not saying that we should chuck a brick through the windows of any shop selling ‘synthetic cannabis’ in New Zealand, but I am very tempted to take that action myself. The evidence has been around for quite a while that the effects of these nasty substances are dangerous and prolonged. There have even been deaths associated with these ‘products.’
That young people can ‘illegally’ attain SC is even more troubling. It may be illegal for them to so but we all know that there are ways to procure them, either directly from unscrupulous shop keepers, or through older friends and family members.
Why am I so against SC? I can hear the clarion calls from those who use the argument that tobacco and alcohol also wreak havoc on the physical and mental health of our citizens. Yes, that may be true, but why in the hell would we allow another ‘candidate to the line-up?’ The damage caused by the former is obvious and cost us billions in the negative effects.
I work with young people in a large secondary school, as a counsellor and I know that a significant number of young people regularly have access to SC and that the effects are similar to that of ‘P.’ Once started we see little of them. We already know that students who partake in regular use of Cannabis, gradually withdraw from ‘effective education.’ By that I mean, that they may be present (If we are lucky) at school, but very little learning takes place.
Now add in the possibility of a young person buying SC from the dairy on the way to school and you have a very potent mix of possibilities. If that young person even gets to school, they are unmanageable in class and therefore not only limit their chances, but they ‘steal’ the possibility of other kids learning at school. The time taken by the health and pastoral care systems is a cost on other kids. The damage that they are setting themselves up for is immeasurable.
Just listen to the reports from various health authorities in NZ and you will able to list the effects of SC very easily. It is and will continue to be a cost on the nation.
Let’s get this stuff out of our shops. Let’s do whatever it takes and if that means pushing the boundaries, right up to giving an extremely strong message to those shops in our communities that sell this stuff, then so be it. Yes that will drive it underground and put SC in the same category of cannabis sales. Hopefully, as parents, teachers, counsellors, youth workers and members of a community, we can therefor limit the damage done by SC and other substances.
Get out there and tell your local shops that you will not tolerate sales in your area. If they persist---then it’s over to you.