Synthetic drugs illegal: police

POLICE have warned of the dangers of taking synthetic drugs commonly marketed as a legal alternative to smoking marijuana.

State drug investigation unit Detective Superintendent Steve Holahan said manufacturers were masking the synthetic drugs as herbal products and selling via the internet or alternative retail stores.

Last Friday 19 new chemicals were listed in schedule 2 of the Drugs Misuse Regulation 1987, essentially banning products marketed as legal alternatives to cannabis.

"The plant material is sprayed with a synthetic chemical or the chemical is infused into the plant matter," Supt Holahan said.

"Essentially if you take these products you are taking a poison.

"These highly toxic drugs are not legal and have been known to have serious short and long-term health effects including loss of consciousness, seizures, increased blood pressure and vomiting."

Police said any person caught in possession of or selling these illegal substances would face prosecution.

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