Duncan Garner: Let the 'synthetic high' black market begin

07/05/2014

Just because the Government has banned legal highs from tonight, don’t think for a minute these sordid products have gone away.

Yes, politically the ban looks good – but it’s based on nothing sound – it’s populist, knee-jerk crap. These drugs are still available. If you want them you’ll get them. They’re now in the hands of the black market; the seedy individuals, the faceless middle men and the gangs (same thing really).

The Government has totally stuffed this up. Their approach is woeful and it’s a national shame.

They first of all say they are setting up a regulated market where all the dangerous products will go off the shelves and all the low-risk ones will stay.

What was the result? Well, thousands of shops closed. Hundreds of products were pulled off the market. Just 41 remained.

But - and this is where it went wrong - the officials were too slow to bring in the remaining tests. It took too long. They faffed about. Politicians got nervous. The pictures on the telly gave them cold sweats. They blinked. The rest is history.

More than three million of these synthetic products have been sold and the manufacturers have made more than $100m dollars in the process. They have got very wealthy trading in people’s misery. And people were miserable. I spoke to dozens of users on air. I spoke to their families. They were crying out for help a year ago.

That’s why I actually supported the law change. It was worth giving it a chance. But, no, we are now left with a complete mess; it’s a complete cock-up.

I was angry when these products were all sold in dairies, to school kids – last year. It made me furious. I took a stand. I started a campaign last year. I took a big risk. I publicly smoked Juicy Puff to prove how evil this untested synthetic material really was. It was awful, remember?

So, what are we left with?

Politicians with no clue, drug laws in tatters, job losses and hundreds of addicts freaking out – and manufacturers who have made a mint.

This is the worst of all scenarios especially when we were promised world-leading drug laws.

source: data archive