According to the Clutha district Mayor, there are already reports of dangerous homebake laced black market illegal highs on the streets.
Homebake, is a slang name for monoacetylmorphine, mostly used in NZ and Australia is very similar to Mexican black tar heroin.
An underground – black market – “legal high” industry, including synthetic cannabis is causing havoc across the Clutha district in the deep south, according to the ODT.
Even though the Clutha district, West of Dunedin had no legal highs stores, it hasn’t stopped people from filling the market void according to the Mayor, Bryan Cadogan.
He had confirmed reports of people in his local area selling synthetic cannabis from the back of cars and selling products in return for “favours”.
There are reports of workers failing drug tests after the now illegal – legal highs they had smoked had been allegedly laced with homebake.
Homebake is similar to black tar heroin from Mexico and is common in Australia and New Zealand.
This goes to show that clandestine drug laboratories are taking over where the registered legal highs manufacturers left off. This means that users are unlikely to know the exact contents of the drugs they are consuming and are almost guaranteed to be consuming extremely impure and dangerous versions of their ‘legal high’ counterparts.
While he welcomed Peter Dunnes decision to ban legal highs, “it would be unrealistic to think overnight we could eliminate a drug that has a hard hold across New Zealand”.
Despite the black market and issues of homebake heroin, he maintained that he was happy if the products remained underground, “but to me that is exactly where this stinking [product] needs to be”.
New Zealand Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell said a black market, stockpiling and binge use was only going to get worse when the remaining products were removed.
“In a black market, there is no form of consumer protection … You are going to get adulterated products and it is going to make it more dangerous for people who choose to use these drugs.”
Legal Highs NZ suggests avoiding the use of black market legal highs.