AAP | Perthnow | The Australian | June 18 2014
A POLITICIAN’S staffer was given cash and instructed to purchase synthetic cannabis to prove how easily accessible the drug is in Western Australia.
MP Phil Edman said he was appalled his staffer was able to buy $70 worth of the synthetic drugs at two shops in the Rockingham area, one of which is opposite a high school, and even given a receipt.
“I sent my staff down there on Monday with some cash and they quite simply bought some (synthetic) cannabis with ease,” Mr Edman told 6PR today.
“They were actually told how to use it and you either use it in a cone or a bong or a pipe.
“But they made it very clear to start with (use) small amounts and build up in strength and quantity, and this is to help limit any adverse reaction to the chemicals as they’re not sure what chemicals are in it.”
Mr. Edman said the current WA legislation banning synthetic drugs could not keep up with manufacturers who continued to abuse a legal loophole in the law by altering a product’s chemical composition, making it exempt from the ban.
“What I’ve asked the government is `why can’t we look at broader legislation that completely stamps out synthetic cannabis with chemicals?’
“These shops are preying on the weak minded and probably people with mental illness.
“I’m also concerned that minors might be able to purchase these dangerous products.”
When asked live on air by 6PR, one of the shops denied selling synthetic cannabis.
Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said an initial ban on 22 substances had held the government in good stead and legislation banning another 33 substances was three weeks away.
“It has been difficult to stay in front of the people who dream up these new substances,” she said.
Ms Morton said the government was working on legislation to ban any psychoactive substance unless there was a therapeutic use for it.