Authorities Are Now Moving Against Synthetic “Legal” Highs

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So synthetic marijuana is back in the headlines. The York Region and Toronto are being plagued with the substance and two campaigners are dedicating themselves and their expertise to fix the drug problem. The two campaigners Randy McNeil and Tim Greenwood are praising local police forces for threatening to close down local shop vendors who sell the fake weed and in some cases slapping them with prosecution. McNeil and Greenwood work with troubled youth in the York Region and they say it’s gratifying to know teenagers wont have easy access to the weed-like products called “Izms” which are being sold in almost every city and town across the region. Greenwood works to give troubled youth as well as youth caught up in legal disputes employment opportunities. Recently he has seen a number of young people getting addicted to Izms and has been told by those users that it gives you a more intense “buzz” than the real deal. Further credit is due to Greenwood for being an anti-drug and drug awareness activist.

Soon after this story was published on, Health Canada deemed the herbal flakes and other synthetic substances a drug and Toronto police made a number of seizures of packages that they believed to contain synthetic pot, and eventually laid charges against the founder of the company that sells the synthetic pot.

Prior to the new classification, it was sold to residents of all ages in as a legal “alternative to marijuana” and marketed to young people in colourful packaging, with names including Grape Drank, Luau Love. Another, named Pure Pillz, intended to mimic ecstasy or speed, or, as one teenager described it — the feeling of eight Red Bulls in a row –—has also been labelled as a drug. Officers are routinely walking through businesses and interacting with store owners as part of their duties, York Const. Andy Pattenden said, noting if they come across synthetic drugs being sold that contain substances prohibited in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, once tested by Health Canada, charges will be laid.

The police are now warning shops that sell synthetic marijuana that if they do not heed the initial warning, charges will be laid against them and they could lose their business all together. While this may seem harsh, the fact is is that synthetic pot is dangerous, addictive and in some cases contains substances that we don’t know much about. In fact, we don’t know everything we need to when it comes to these so called “legal highs”. Obviously more research needs to be done by Health Canada and similar organizations worldwide in order to prevent more cases of addiction and in other instances poisonings and overdoses.

With community leaders like McNeil and Greenwood out there, it isn’t too late to feel optimistic on the issue. It’s people like them that form a solid foundation for the authorities and drug experts to kick off from and get the job done when it comes to eradicating this new drug problem that is putting teens and young adults at serious risk.



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Sobriety Foundation

Authorities Are Now Moving Against Synthetic “Legal” Highs

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