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Grassroots battle against Kronic proves a success

Published: 9:01PM Tuesday June 28, 2011 Source: ONE News

A group of parents from Auckland's North Shore has taken the battle against Kronic into their own hands, with success.

The Devonport mums and dads have started a campaign to try and pressure dairies in the area to stop stocking Kronic, a synthetic cannabis.

Concerned parent and rowing coach Nicholas Philp has made posters to support the shops who have stopped selling. He is also making sure all dairies know their stock can be returned with a full refund.

"Everyone can do this. The whole country should do this," he told TV ONE's Close Up.

The tactic appears to have worked, with all but one dairy pulling Kronic from sale.

The local paper, the Devonport Flagstaff, also got onboard, sending in an undercover teenager to see if the dairy owners were being true to their word.

"We paid an 18-year-old student to go around the dairies who said they weren't selling it to verify they weren't," mother and reporter at Devonport Flagstaff Angela Kemp said.

None of the dairies sold the teenager Kronic.

The one dairy that still stocks Kronic said that although it won't stop selling Kronic, it will hide it from view.

Philp said he is concerned the low price of Kronic specifically attracts children.

"Twenty bucks gets four of them smashed off their faces in no time at all. It's five dollars each, that's less than lunch money for goodness sakes," he said

"Most kids will start to try most things, but if it's available in the dairy it just means they'll start younger."

The Government has promised restrictions will be put on Kronic's sale in New Zealand.

Toxicologist at the National Poison Centre in Dunedin Leo Schep said it should be banned outright.

"If you don't put the brakes on it, you end up having radio advertising, you end up having it sell at your corner dairy, you end up having it sponsoring sports events."

"I'm confident at some stage the Government will ban it, and that is their best response."

He said the Government is stuck in a cat and mouse game with manufacturers.

"It's a game that we'll be locked into for a long time. If you ban one class of drugs, then some organic chemists on the wrong side of the railway track will then manufacture another chemical that's similar to that one and bypasses the law."

Schep said he would like to see the government take up the Law Commission's recommendation to ban all new synthetic drugs until manufacturers prove it is safe.