Kronic and other named synthetic drugs that induce effects similar to cannabis will be banned in NSW from July 1. NSW Mental Health Minister Kevin Humphries announced this saying use of the products sold online and at retail outlets have led to warnings from doctors. He added that the state government will ban the products under existing legislation.
Synthetic cannabis has been sold under the brand names Kronic, Spice, Kaos, Voodoo, Mango and Northern Lights and have a cannabis-like effect when smoked. It is known that they can impair a person's judgment, creating hazards when an affected person operates machinery or drives a vehicle. But more worryingly they say the products can be 10 times stronger than conventional marijuana and therefore carry an even higher risk of inducing paranoia and anxiety. While there is no reliable research into Kronic, experts have said it was known to contain high-potency cannabinoids, which can lead to schizophrenia.
Mr. Humphries said in his statement, “It is important to understand that these are not soft or recreational herbal products, they represent a real danger to an affected person's safety and wellbeing.” He added that he has discussed the matter with the state Attorney-General Greg Smith SC, who advised that the products could be banned under the NSW Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act. Therefore, they would be prohibited under the same category as cannabis, heroin and cocaine.
Sale of the products will be banned from July 1, with retailers required to arrange for destruction of any unsold quantities after that date. A ban on the use of synthetic cannabis will come into effect seven days later. Penalties for supplying the drug are expected to match those for cannabis.
Western Australia has recently banned the products with other states and territories announcing that they too are considering outlawing synthetic cannabis. South Australia followed suit soon afterwards, but gave no notice of its intentions because of concerns people would stockpile the drugs. Other states, including Queensland and Tasmania, have also indicated they intend to act soon to ban the products.