The move has the support of Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain and Associate Minister of Health Todd McClay.
NZ Lotteries has written to six hundred independently owned retailers with Lotto outlets advising them not to sell synthetic cannabis and similar products from 1 July 2013.
“The sooner psychoactive substances are out of shops the better. New Zealanders are extremely concerned about what these products are doing to the health of our young people. This is a community issue and I am pleased to see Lotto making a firm stand on it,” says Mr Tremain.
“Selling these substances is not compatible with the sale of lotteries products. Profits from NZ Lotteries are returned to the community to help fund recreation, arts, community projects and sports. K2 and party pills have been linked to serious health effects and anti-social behaviour, including crime and violent offending.”
“It is important to protect vulnerable people in our communities. The Psychoactive Substances Bill is currently before the Health Select Committee which is due to report back shortly. I hope to see the Bill progress quickly through the house,” says Mr McClay.
Those who oppose any form of gambling might not see the difference between one potentially addictive habit and another.
But most people buy the odd scratchy or lotto ticket without harming anyone.
The danger of users of K2 and its kind harming themselves and, more particularly, endangering others is much greater.
The return from sales is also pretty high – I wonder if it’s higher than returns from selling scratchies and lotto tickets and if so some outlets would prefer to lose the lottery sales?