There have been two recent deaths in Queensland believed to be due to synthetic cannabis poisoning. The ABC reports that a shop in Mackay has been raided as the deaths are being investigated. Queensland Police have warned that synthetic drugs are not ‘natural’ products and they are not legal, despite any information on packaging that suggests otherwise. The police issued this warning:
'Offences exist for possessing, producing, supplying and or trafficking in dangerous drugs, which includes so-called synthetic products containing these substances.’
In an ABC radio interview serious concerns were raised about how rapidly the new synthetic compounds are being developed and the difficulties doctors are having in treating the effects of each new compound:
They can be significantly more dangerous than the parent drug that they’re attempting to mimic. … They’re sprayed onto plant materials to give the impression that they are naturally occurring or in some way wholesome.
Drug laws in NSW also cover these new compounds: see section 18B of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW).