Rotorua police warn of 'bad batch' of potentially deadly synthetic cannabis

Police are warning a dangerous and potentially deadly “bad batch” of synthetic cannabis could be circulating Rotorua’s black market.

It comes as details about a young man’s death in the region from smoking synthetic drugs have been made public, prompting reminders about the killer weed from a coroner.

Rotorua police area controller Inspector Phil Taikato said “we don’t want another death on our hands” and was warning users.

He said police were working on information they had received to find the dealer.

“Last week we believe there has been a rise in the negative side effects subsequent to a bad batch that is circulating around the district.

Inspector Phil Taikato. Photo / File
Inspector Phil Taikato. Photo / File

“We don’t know where it’s come from but we are working with the district health board to see if there’s been presentations but from our observations and information we have received this is an early warning to the public that there might be a dangerous batch out there.”

Although authorities have warned about the dangers of all synthetic drugs, there had been recent spikes in deaths and hospital admissions due to potency since synthetic cannabis came on to the black market in 2017.

A coroner’s finding into the death of Tokoroa man Michael Lawry, 27, has been released to the Rotorua Daily Post. It shows he died from inhaling synthetic cannabinoid and complications from morbid obesity.

Lawry died in January 2018. His parents came home from work at 5.30pm and found the door to the…

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