Synthetic high users stockpile before ban
Wednesday 7 May 2014 5:58 p.m.
From tomorrow all legal highs should be gone from shop shelves as the Government's ban comes into effect.
That has produced a sales boom, with users stocking up. But from midnight if they try to smoke their stash, they will also be breaking the law.
Business has been far from normal for legal high sellers. The owner of one Naenae store told 3 News today sales were through the roof – triple that of an ordinary day.
He told 3 News other stores had been selling up to $1000 worth at a time.
But that trade is set to end from midnight tonight.
All psychoactive substances will be illegal and licences to sell them will be revoked. Animal testing in New Zealand for legal-high production will also be banned.
Selling what is legal today will tomorrow attract up to a $500,000 fine and two years' jail time. Using it could cost a fine of $500.
The Drug and Alcohol Association says its helpline has seen a 20 percent increase in calls about legal highs since the ban was announced. Drug treatment services say they are braced for increased demand but are worried about stockpiling.
Police say they are aware users could stockpile, but they will be visiting all legal high retailers tomorrow to ensure products are no longer on sale and unsold stock is destroyed.
If you have an addiction to synthetic highs, contact The Salvation Army addiction helpline on 0800 530 000.