Following a practically worldwide prohibition of synthetic cannabis and other varieties of ‘legal high’, a number of New Zealand youth are now coming forward claiming to have become ‘hooked on the stuff’.
Since the advent of legal highs in the early 2000s – a supposedly innocuous cannabis substitute to an already largely innocuous drug, where instead of growing a plant naturally scientists would concoct the product in a laboratory to then be sold and smoked, pushing the theory that the synthetic version contained none of the active ingredient found in genuine cannabis and with no THC, was therefore not addictive – these products quickly became a favourite among New Zealand’s younger population.
Here’s where it becomes confusing. Try measuring ‘a favourite pastime’ against ‘a vital requirement’.
The question needs to be posed to these so called addicts: “For what reason do you maintain you are addicted to synthetic cannabis?”
The answer would likely be something along the lines of: “Well shit, because I want it real bad, like, I can’t do without the stuff.”
“And what do you mean exactly when you say, ‘I can’t do without the stuff’?”
“Well, like, I crave it real bad and like, it’s all I can think of and that, it’s like, I can’t get away from it…”
“Right, and what do you think would happen if your supply was cut off completely, that is, if synthetic cannabis was no longer available to you?”
“Oh, reckon I’d go insane, eh.”
“You think the cravings would be that bad..?”
“Oh for sure, like, I need the stuff, eh, calms me down and that – start shaking real bad if I don’t get my fix, you know?”
“No, I don’t know. Have you tried occupying your mind with something else?”
“What? Nah, I can’t eh, like, herbals are all I can think about.”
“Because you afford yourself the time to think about it..?”
“Yeah, well nah, because like, I need it, you know?”
“No, I don’t. You cannot resist thinking about it because you want it so badly, yes?”
“You want it so badly because you love doing it so much, yes?”
“Oh, for sure man.”
“So if you couldn’t do it anymore, given how much you enjoy it, you would miss it terribly, yes?”
“Yeah man, that’s what I’m saying.”
“What I’m saying then, is grow up. You are not a child. Accept that some pleasures cannot last. Your addiction is a joke. You want it so badly that you are unwilling to accept its departure. Move on. Find something else. A productive way of occupying your time. Something fun, something good. That’s what us humans do – we compensate.”
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Noah Buddy
Photography by C A Buff