Te Waiariki Purea helps in the fight against legal highs

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Over 300 community members have had enough and recently took to the streets to voice their frustration and dismay at the pain and suffering caused by synthetic cannabis.

The march, coordinated by Maraea Pomana, Free Parking Coordinator, began at Te Waiariki Purea Trust and ended at City Centre where both young and old voiced their opposition to this legal high.

National MP Todd McClay and Rotorua City Council members Charles Sturt and Tania Tapsell were also there to support the kaupapa and share their concerns at the devastating effects synthetic cannabis is having on our community and amongst our rangatahi.

Warren Tumarae, Te Waiariki Purea Trust youth worker who took part in the march along said, “before the protest march we had a hui and one of our men shared that his son was killed by a person whose key defense was that he was high on synthetic weed. We are also seeing the negative effects of this drug on rangatahi and whānau in our day to day mahi, one story that was shared was a 14 year old boy who has been using the drug for sometime and has started to physically abuse his nan for money to buy it.”

Tania Tapsell, Rotorua’s youngest District Councillor also shared her concerns and what the council was going to do about the issue, saying, ”Our community has made it very clear that synthetics are not welcome here. And our Council has heard them loud and clear.

“We developed a draft ‘Local Approved Products Policy (LAPP) 2014 Harmful Psychoactive Substances’ on which we have sought the views of the community. And we have specifically included the word harmful because it has, and will continue to cause harm.

“Marching with our locals against synthetics, it was obvious the damage these products have caused many of our families. While our Government and Council battle against these products, it’s those selling it that I truly look down upon. I have a very strong view that these products need to be eliminated, this is not the future we want for our children.”

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