We don't do drugs, other than those prescribed by our very trusted GP. So we were initially a bit detached from the current controversy over the "legal high" Kronic, and derivatives of it. But when we read last week that the scientist who developed the active ingredient in these products (JWH 018) strongly recommended that people NOT use the artificial cannabis saying that "It can lead to serious psychological problems... It's not known if they are irreversible."our interest was piqued a little.
Our interest with further piqued over the last few days when two brands of these artifical cannabis products have been banned by the Health Ministry because they contain prescription medications. But it's thrown the whole issue open to wider debate.
Yestreday morning, Breakfast interviewed Tom Claunch from the Capri Trust, a private addiction clinic in Auckland. You can watch the interview by following this link. Mr Claunch pulled no punches, and described the offer by the legal high industry to self-regulate as akin to "leaving a pervert in charge of the Sunday School picnic". It's hard to disagree with that; it's hard to imagine anyone with a more vested interest in these products than those who profit from them.
Assoociate Health Minister Peter Dunne has signalled moves to restrict these "legal highs", but he's copping it from both sides. One one hand, he's been accused of taking too long to restrict Kronic sales; on the other hand, he's accused of being heavy-handed. We believe that the government, via the health ministry is the right source of regulation in this instance; we certainly don't like the idea of self-regulation of products such as these by those who benefit from their sale.
As parents of two young adult children in the age range targetted by the distributors of these products, we hope that they have the common-sense to give them a wide berth. Young people have a difficult enough path to navigate without resorting to products which could cause them long-term harm.