The failure of Synthetic Cannabis: only the rabbits won

People are dying on our streets at the hands of underworld villains who are peddling poison to those hooked on a habit.

The real tragedy is that circumstances got to where they did. Between 2010 and 2014 Parliament vacillated from one position to another on these drugs and ended up with a solution that’s been of no use or value to anyone.

In 2011 all such substances were banned as the Government looked to come up with a new approach that would see them subject to tests and regulation. In early 2014 they ended up back on the shelves again when the Psychoactive Substances Act came into force.

Then came the public and political backlash. Once legitimised these drugs were fully in the public eye and the public didn’t like them, nor those that sold them. That sent our politicians to scurrying back again to change the laws and, in a way that only politicians can, they came up with a solution that was no solution at all. They imposed a requirement that all such drugs would have to be clinically proven to be safe before they could be sold but set the testing regime up so that it did not include animal testing.

Now, at an animal welfare level that was great news for rabbits. But in terms of having a testing regime where such drugs could be effectively tested it was an utter, and predictable, failure.

So here we are three years having the same debate all over again. Dangerous drugs are being pushed illegally with criminals benefiting and users dying – and our politicians’ half baked solutions have to carry a large dose of the blame.

Peter Dunne, and the government to a lesser extent, have blood on their hands.  If the voters of Ohariu insist on putting the self important buffoon back in the job, I really don’t know what they are voting for.


– Felix Marwick, Newstalk ZB

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.