Senior Sgt Mark Offen, of Timaru, said there had been two incidents in the past two weeks, staff were told the offender had been using synthetic cannabis.
“We were called to one incident of self-harm,” he said. “We were told they were taking legal highs but could not find any of the banned synthetic cannabis.
“There was another incident where the person was high and we were told they were on them as well.” Offen said he believed that meant a person or people had stockpiled the cannabis when it was still legally for sale.
At the time Timaru police constable Marcus Dominey said thatthey had kept tabs on anybody they believed to be stockpiling the psychoactive substances.
In the last week of the legal trade of synthetic cannabis and related substances, Dominey said that police had observed an average of eight or nine people entering one Timaru store to buy it in the first half hour of trading each morning.
South Canterbury District Health Board clinical director mental health Dr Cecilia Smith-Hamel said the DHB had seen fewer people with synthetic cannabis use in its Alcohol and Other Drug Service. “We have also had no recent admissions to our in-patient unit due to acute psychiatric consequences of synthetic cannabis use,” she said.
Fairfax reported last month people were openly buying and selling synthetic cannabis on internet sites such as Facebook. Offen agreed that Facebook could be used for criminal practices.
He was aware of social network sites that had been used in the past for moving on stolen property so it was not outside the realm of possibility people would use them for selling synthetic cannabis and other drugs.
A Fairfax Sunday newspaper reported it had been relatively easy for it to source the psychoactive substances. It made contact with a seller through a Rotorua page.
The dealer offered an ounce of synthetics for $150, or $50 for a bag. She then offered “crack” (methamphetamine) as an alternative and was after a quick sale, the paper reported.
By taking legal highs and synthetic cannabis out of the hands of a regulated market, some users could find themselves associating with criminal organizations on the black market and being exposed to more harmful and dangerous drugs such as Methamphetamine and other, less known research chemicals.