JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Hot market for 'legal' cocaine

Date

John Elder

ADULT stores are selling a synthetic cocaine called White Bull for $100 a gram. This is twice the price of old-fashioned amphetamines that bikies used to cook - and we were told it's stronger than the real and illegal stuff.

White Bull is part of a $200-million-a-year catalogue of legal highs that adult stores are marketing as an offset for the drop in DVD sales because of the prevalence of online porn.

The man behind the counter at Love Play had only two little bags of White Bull left for sale. He said the store sells out every weekend. ''Less is more with this stuff,'' he said.

White Bull is an apparently legal substitute for cocaine, which retails illegally for $350 a gram. ''The feeling is that of cocaine, speed, ecstasy,'' he said. Meaning it keeps you awake, a bit horny and somehow sets a disco beat rocking in your head. It also makes your heart beat faster, and put on a hot glow that suggests one's thermo-regulation system is out of whack.

''But it doesn't make you grind your teeth,'' said the merchant.

What's in it? He didn't know.

Fiona Patten, of the Eros Foundation, which has assumed the role of being the representative body for the legal high industry, hadn't heard of White Bull. She knew that coke substitutes were selling out in adult stores every weekend, and that they were also selling from petrol stations and convenience stores.

She said the market in legal highs was worth $500 million a year, and 40 per cent of the market was run out of adult stores. ''Which is where it should be contained. We want it regulated, not illegalised.''

Paul Dillon, director of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia, hadn't heard of White Bull either. ''It's probably the latest version in the new range of synthetics and won't be around next week. What you are going to see is this will get a bit of media attention and it will disappear. Something new will come on the shelves next week.''

Last week we reported that the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction had found that every week a new psychoactive drug was coming on to the market as a ''legal high''. Mr Dillon said that declaration was based on 2011 figures.

''They're actually being produced at a faster rate than one a week,'' he said.

Related Coverage

Featured advertisers

Special offers

Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo