Robyn Wuth | Gold Coast Bulletin June 18 2014

POLICE have seized a quantity of synthetic cannabis during a series of raids across the Gold Coast this afternoon.

Officers from the Rapid Action Policing squad raided Free Choice Tobacco on the Gold Coast Highway at Miami.

During a search, they found about 10 grams of a substance believed to be synthetic cannabis.

The material will be forensically tested and a woman in her 20s has been questioned by police.

She is expected to be charged with supplying the drug.

Authorities have repeatedly warned of the serious danger from synthetic cannabis after four people using the drug died last year.

Chemicals are added to plant material to create synthetic cannabis, which is then sold under various names, most recently Kronic.

New laws introduced in April made it a criminal offence to possess, sell or traffic any substance with an intended similar effect to a dangerous drug.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie this year banned 33 new substances in a crackdown on synthetic drugs, while police continue to launch a series of raids.

“Our synthetic drug laws are the toughest in the country,” Mr. Bleijie said.

Police warned synthetic cannabis could be more powerful than the traditional drug it imitated.

“The type of things you see are high heart rates, high blood pressure,’’ a spokesman said.

“There’s other things like mental health issues as well like anxiety attacks, disorientation, hallucinations, paranoia and in some instances, depending on the make-up of the individual and their mental state, can lead to suicide.’’

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