find the latest legal job
Banking Associate - 1-6PQE - Allen & Overy
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: United Kingdom
· Banking Associate - 1-6 PQE - Allen & Overy
View details
Academic Dean and Head of School of the TC Beirne School of Law
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· An outstanding opportunity · Provide educational, research and organisational leadership
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Arncliffe NSW 2205
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Law playing catch-up on synthetic drugs

Law playing catch-up on synthetic drugs

A leading criminal lawyer has said the arrest of the man behind synthetic cannabis product Kronic will do little to discourage suppliers of the drug from finding ways around the law banning it from Australian shelves.

A leading criminal lawyer has said the arrest of the man behind synthetic cannabis product Kronic will do little to discourage suppliers of the drug from finding ways around the law banning it from Australian shelves.   

New Zealander Matthew Wielenga was arrested in Melbourne last week after he was allegedly found with more than 100kg of Kronic and 1kg of white powder, reported to be synthetic cocaine.

Wielenga appeared in a Melbourne court on Monday (10 December) on trafficking charges.

A Melbourne-based criminal lawyer, who does not wish to be named, told Lawyers Weekly that last year’s ban on synthetic cannabis has failed to stop its sale, as suppliers have circumvented the law by reformulating brands.

“The law is really following the event in relation to these synthetic drugs,” he said. “Other substances, such as party drug GHB, were legal for a short period before the legislator moved quickly to make an amendment to the regulations to prohibit their sale.”

The lawyer added that these drugs continue to evolve, with manufacturers changing the chemical structure to make forensic examination difficult.

In July last year, Australia’s federal medicines regulator banned eight cannabis-like chemicals, effectively outlawing Kronic, along with similar herbal-chemical blends.

Despite the ban, reformulated brands using chemicals that are not on the banned list have continued to appear on shelves in “legal high” stores, tobacconists and sex shops.

“With different variations of the drugs arriving, mostly from overseas, it’s very hard for the law to keep pace … the law seems to be always one step behind,” said the lawyer, who described it as a growing problem and “a conundrum the law can’t deal with”.

Greg Barns, a barrister at Michael Kirby Chambers in Hobart, appeared for Wielenga at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

When contacted by Lawyers Weekly, Barns said he was unable to comment on the case at the present time.

It has been reported that the alleged drugs are yet to be analysed and that Wielenga made no admissions while in court.

As a result, it is yet to be determined whether the elements of substances found fall within the substances banned by Victorian law.

Wielenga, who is the director of the Lightyears Ahead business based in Auckland, was granted bail on $100,000 surety and is to reappear in court in March.

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Law playing catch-up on synthetic drugs
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Gavel, legal book, criminal lawyers
Jan 19 2018
Three criminal lawyers named NSW magistrates
The NSW Attorney-General has announced the appointment of three new local court magistrates. ...
Warning
Jan 18 2018
Lawyer highlights ‘unintended consequences’ on SSM estate planning
A succession lawyer has warned that the right for same-sex couples to legally marry could have a sub...
drug rehabilitation services available in rural and remote communities
Jan 18 2018
ALS survey shines spotlight on insufficient rehabilitation services
A new survey posted by the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) has revealed an alarming insight into ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...