A new type of synthetic cannabis has been doing the rounds in the streets of New Zealand. As many as 10 deaths in the past month are believed to be linked to the highly dangerous substance in Auckland alone. Moreover, almost 40-45 people died since last June due to this substance.
Authorities are struggling to wipe this off the streets and cope up with the damage that the drug is doing. Officially known as “new psychoactive substances”, the drugs imitate the effects of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, but can be up to 50 times stronger. The drug has been described to give a mild to mid-range high and was easily available at dispensaries across the country. However, this was before it was banned 4 years ago by officials. One ex-user, who wanted to remain anonymous, described what the drug did to her. “You kind of just spin out, like you can’t really move, you kind of just turn into a zombie,” she said. Other users have suffered from severe side effects like seizures, vomiting, and even suicidal thoughts.
Reports suggest that the Mongrel Mob is involved in the distribution of the drug in most parts of the country. Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are the main centers for distribution. Children as young as 11 are using the drug and in a study conducted by Radio NZ, the entire suburb of Maraenui in Napier had been “swallowed” up by synthetics, with not a single person unaffected.
The problem is that the drug is extremely cheap and easily available. Moreover, the police find it difficult to intercept the circulation. This is because it is distributed in small and medium quantities across the country. The dealers believe that even if 50% of the product is intercepted, they still end up making profit. This is because it costs $300 to manufacture a kilo, however it sells for almost $10,000 for the same quantity.
New Zealand is literally being eaten up by what is described as the most dangerous narcotics in the recent years, and officials can’t do anything about it.
By Abhishek Aggarwal