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News (Media Awareness Project) - Australia: Ban On Synthetic Cannabis Kronic Fails
Title:Australia: Ban On Synthetic Cannabis Kronic Fails
Published On:2011-12-19
Source:Newcastle Herald (Australia)
Fetched On:2011-12-20 06:00:46

GOVERNMENT efforts to ban synthetic cannabis drugs such as Kronic have

The drugs were openly on sale in Newcastle sex shops yesterday almost
six months after the O'Farrell and Gillard governments moved against

Both governments relied on adding a series of "cannabinoid"
chemicals to outlawed drug registers to stop the sales in July.

But the state government has acknowledged that manufacturers are
tweaking their products to get around the ingredient-specific bans.

On top of this, the federal laws apply only to possession, use and
storage of the banned ingredients.

"It is, however, not illegal to import these substances, and as such
they are not controlled at the border," a Customs spokesman said yesterday.

Australian Drug Foundation spokesman Geoff Munro warned yesterday
against smoking the drugs, which had potentially dangerous

That warning was endorsed by Broadmeadow man Terry Kostanowicz, who
says he is still dealing with a pyschotic reaction triggered by
smoking the Northern Lights brand of the drug in September.

"I'm warning you, this stuff is dangerous, the headache is
unbelievable, for days I didn't know where I was," Mr Kostanowicz

A spokeswoman for Mental Health Minister Kevin Humphries said the
state government outlawed seven synthetic cannabinoid substances in

With new strains of synthetic cannabis hitting the market, the
government was looking at making the entire "broad class" of drugs
illegal in NSW.

The spokeswoman said the government was asking Canberra to consider
similar "broad class" legislation.

The Customs spokesman said regulation of Kronic and similar substances
varied from state to state.

"Where appropriate, Customs and Border Protection will refer
detections of these products to the state authorities for
investigation and action," the spokesman said.

Controversy over the so-called "natural high" products arose in May
when the Newcastle Herald reported concerns such drugs were popular in
the mining industry because the active ingredients were not being
detected by workplace drug tests.

Lights go out after Northern trip

BY his own admission, Terry Kostanowicz is no stranger to

Decades of abuse - interspersed with what he says are years of
sobriety - have left their mark.

But of all the drugs he has used, Terry says the synthetic cannabinoid
Northern Lights is the worst, and he wants to tell the world about

"It took everything, instantly," Terry said yesterday from his
Broadmeadow housing department flat.

He said he only smoked a small amount of the drug over a couple of
days in September. The result was a terrifying and deranging pyschosis
that is still with him to some degree.

He said it took him a fortnight to get to the drug and alcohol unit at
the Calvary Mater - where he was well-known - but even then he
struggled to make himself understood during the heights of his
Northern Lights "bad trip".

"I just wanted a little smoke, I wasn't after 100 times worse than
the strongest LSD, and that's what it was like," he said.

"Whatever you do, don't touch this stuff.

"It's evil."
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