Synthetic cannabis deaths spike in New Zealand, igniting legalisation debate

Medics say they are called to dozens of overdoses from drug that is cheaper and more addictive than natural product
The Guardian (UK)
Friday, July 27, 2018

synthetic cannabis2The number of fatal overdoses from synthetic cannabis use has soared in New Zealand, going from two deaths in five years to 45 in 12 months. The emergency St John ambulance services said it received about 30 call-outs a week relating to synthetic cannabis overdoses. The drug could be bought in corner stores very cheaply before it was outlawed in 2014. The executive director of the Drug Foundation Ross Bell said legalising natural cannabis would go a long way to curbing people’s use of synthetic cannabis, which was far more potent, addictive and dangerous. “Let’s legalise natural cannabis to get rid of synthetic stuff,” Bell told Radio NZ. (See also: We should have known | Too many people are dying. New Zealand needs to talk about decriminalising drugs)