Praise for move to ban legal highs

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Moves by the Government to ban legal highs have been met with praise throughout Oamaru.

Oamaru Community Constable Bruce Dow said local police were thrilled to hear the legal highs would be banned.

Legal highs had greatly affected the town and caused people to steal money, break into businesses and even commit armed robbery, he said.

Moves to ban them were a good move for the town.

Constable Dow said he had personally been advocating for the ban of the legal highs in Oamaru for some time, so was happy at the news.

“It’s the best thing since sliced bread,” he said.

Waitaki Safer Community Trust co-ordinator Derek Beveridge said banning the legal highs was a positive move for the town.

“I think it’s excellent news,” he said.

Legal high users would get withdrawal symptoms but would be able to get over them, he said.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said legal highs had been a problem for the Waitaki community for some time.

The council was not happy at the Government’s non-complete ban which allowed 41 legal high products to remain on store shelves, so it was good to see the products would be banned, he said.

“This has come out of the blue and is a very welcome move that Government’s taking.”

Mr Kircher congratulated parliament for the move to ban the synthetics.

While it was possible a black market of sorts would be created by the coming ban, ultimately fewer people would be using the synthetic highs, he said.

“There will always be people that think they need to take something to have a good time,” he said.

The council had been working on an “approved products policy” which would look at removing the legal highs from the community, but with moves from the Government to ban the legal highs, the policy was not as urgent now, Mr Kircher said.

The council was still likely to appoint a committee for the policy, he said.

Super Save in Thames St, the only shop in Oamaru that sells the legal highs, did not have anyone available to comment to the Oamaru Mail when approached yesterday.

By DAVID DE LOREAN