A further 14 synthetic cannabinoids will be illegal in Western Australia from midnight tonight, including two compounds found in the new product ‘Kronic Black Label’, as part of the Western Australian government’s commitment to outlaw the harmful drug. Following confirmation that five people were hospitalised with heart palpitations and high blood pressure from smoking synthetic cannabis last week, Mental Health Minister Helen Morton moved to schedule another 14 synthetic cannabinoids under the Poisons Act. Including the eight compounds banned nationally, that brings the total number of synthetic cannabinoids banned in WA to 22.
“Testing of the most recent synthetic cannabinoid product, Kronic Black Label, that was being sold in Perth shops last week, has found it contains two of the substances that will be illegal as of midnight on 5 August,” Morton said. “We want to ensure we are doing all we can to prevent anyone else experiencing harm from smoking these chemicals, and despite what the manufacturers and retailers would have you believe, these are simply not safe.”
The Drug and Alcohol Office, WA Police, Department of Health, ChemCentre and other key government agencies would continue to work together to deal with existing synthetic cannabinoids in WA and other ‘legal’ drugs yet be developed, Morton said. A recent announcement that 43 synthetic cannabinoid products were being banned in New Zealand would assist in disrupting supply in WA, as many of the Australian products come from New Zealand or the Eastern States, noted Morton.
“We are already investigating other ways to restrict the availability of these synthetic drugs and if we can prevent these products hitting the shelves at all.
“But it is critical that a national response is implemented to deal with these kinds of public health issues.”
The Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration delegate is considering broader restrictions, with a public submission and review process scheduled for completion in early 2012. “Banning these substances in WA will only provide part of the solution and we are participating in the development of the national response,” the Minister said.