An underground drug dealer in South Auckland has spoken out about synthetic drugs after news an eighth person died yesterday from synthetic cannabis.
The drug dealer, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Pacific Radio News that people are ignorant about what's in synthetic drugs and need to know what they're smoking.
He believes a lot has changed since he took synthetic cannabis, also known as K2, when he was in high school in 2012.
“When I smoked K2, it was fine. It wasn’t all that,” he says.
Together with his friends, they would buy about five pounds of synthetic cannabis for $2000.
“It was cheap back then. It was available everywhere because it was legal," he says. “When they banned K2, they changed the name, but really it was the same product, they just made it stronger and they sold it at the same price, so it was a win-win for everyone."
K2 synthetic cannabis. Photo/ spiceaddictionsupport.org
The Pacific Radio News source says he doesn’t believe synthetic cannabis is being produced in New Zealand. Instead he suspects the drugs are being shipped into the country in large containers.
Meanwhile, a Mongrel Mob gang member, working with his community to help prevent methamphetamine addictions, says synthetic cannabis is being produced locally.
Dennis Makalio says people can shop locally for the ingredients to make the drug.
“It’s got embalming [fluid], rat poison and even fingernail remover in it," says Makalio. "They're making these batches stronger and stronger each time."
Eight people have died so far this month related to the use of synthetic cannabis, which has prompted the Chief Coroner and Police to issue a public warning about the drug.
The latest to die from synthetic cannabis is a 24-year-old man after being treated yesterday at Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland.
The source, who spoke exclusively to our Pacific Radio News reporter, Levi Matautia-Morgan, says synthetic cannabis is still being sold in local dairies in South Auckland.
“People were never going to stop selling the drug when it became illegal,” he says. “If you're in South Auckland, it won't be hard to find."
Since hearing about the synthetic-cannabis-related deaths, the South Auckland man says he wants people to know how big the drug industry really is in New Zealand.
“No one cares until something like this happens," he says. "I stopped smoking K2 three years ago because I didn’t want anyone else to do it."
“I told all my boys, 'Don’t smoke anymore'. We thought we were cool but nah. You realise it was sh**. It was rubbish."
He says the government should ban K2 before banning any other drug.
“Call it what you like, synthetic cannabis, K2 but I think it’s worse than meth.