6 Sep 2013

Synthetic cannabis sparks protest in Kaitaia

6:34 pm on 6 September 2013

The organisers of an anti-drug protest in Kaitaia are vowing to keep picketing a local tobacconist until he stops selling synthetic cannabis.

Mana Party activist Reti Boynton on Thursday led a hikoi of about 30 people protesting outside Jujnovich Holdings, in the main street.

Mr Boynton says the shop can legally sell the drug but it's making people paranoid and bad-tempered, and causing a rise in family violence in the rohe [area].

Street dealers and tinny houses are now selling synthetic cannabis - because it's legal - and more profitable than the real thing, he says.

Tobacconist Raymond Jujnovich says he took the synthetic cannabis off his shelves yesterday - but he's applying for a license to stock some legal party drugs because there's a demand for them.

Mr Jujnovich says a number of his customers are recovering alcoholics who want an alternative to liquor and who don't want to have to deal with the type of people who sell illegal drugs.