NOS SHOP MOVES TO BAN POLICE
Police have been banned from entering a Christchurch herbal high shop as the battle over whether party pills should be deemed illegal heats up.
Senior Sergeant Peter Laloli, of the Christchurch southern police area, told a meeting in Hornby last night that the owner of a Sydenham shop selling party pills and nitrous oxide, or nos, had taken a trespass notice out against police.
Last night's public meeting had been called to discuss the sale of party pills and nos in Christchurch, prompted by the recent picketing of a new party pills outlet in Hornby.
The speakers, who included Christchurch city councillors Helen Broughton and Bob Shearing, a liquor licensing representative and a school principal, addressed a 120-strong crowd.
The issue of whether restrictions should be placed on the herbal highs and nos is currently being debated in a parliamentary committee.
Laloli said people taking the substances were causing social problems in Christchurch and stretching police resources.
However, police were limited in their actions because the pills and nos were legal.
Currently, anyone could enter stores selling the substances despite some store owners putting up signs banning those aged under 18.
"It may not be moral, but it's not illegal," he said.
Community and Public Health liquor licensing officer Peter Shaw said the pills were becoming an integral part of Christchurch's social life - used by the middle-aged as well as youths.
He said people were using herbal high pills and nos as "nightcaps" after a night on the town.
He said the queue of people waiting outside city herbal high suppliers in the early hours of the morning was longer than for most nightclubs. Buyers ranged from teenagers to those in their fifties.
Hornby High School principal Andy Kai Fong said while he had not seen a large amount of evidence of nos use among students, he was sure it was happening.
"I have no doubt it is there or it is coming unless this shop (Weirdos which sells nos and herbal highs in Hornby) is targeted," Kai Fong said.
Hornby residents concerned about the shop being in the suburbs and close to a high school had picketed the Weirdos shop since its opening.