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Registered: 04/02/02
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No charges for teens over datura
    #1559439 - 05/19/03 07:01 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

No charges for teens over datura

May 19, 2003

Two Christchurch teens who had to be rescued near Hanmer Springs last week won't face charges.

The pair became lost in bush after taking a hallucinogenic drug derived from the plant datura.

Police say the two 17 year olds didn't realise the consequences of their actions, and it is not illegal to use datura.

The students went missing on a teachers-only day, and may yet face action from their school which is still investigating.

One of the boys is back at school - the other remains in hospital.

(I have a bad feeling that people will confuse Datura with being as bad as LSD/shrooms when they mention it's a hallucinogenic drug - which it's not)

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Registered: 03/06/02
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Re: No charges for teens over datura [Re: Sheepish]
    #1559457 - 05/19/03 07:41 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Yeah, I'd like to see them try to make Jimson weed illegal!


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Re: No charges for teens over datura [Re: Sheepish]
    #1559490 - 05/19/03 08:38 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Here is 2 other articles prior to the one you posted...


Missing teen found safe

- Teen missing after taking datura (2:19)

May 16, 2003

Police have found a missing teenager who may have been disoriented after taking the hallucinogenic drug, datura.

The 17-year-old went missing Thursday evening in bush near Hanmer in North Canterbury.

Hanmer search coordinator Peter Summerfield says a police dog handler established voice contact with the teen and was able to get him out.

"He looked a bit disorientated after a period of time all day in the bush but we're more than happy that he has been found and he is alive," Summerfield said.

Another 17-year-old was found earlier on Friday and taken to hospital with frostbite. He has extensive injuries to his feet.

He is in Christchurch Hospital and police say he is lucky to be alive after spending Thursday night wandering through the bush.

They say the two 17-year-olds may have become disoriented after taking datura. They had been staying with a group at a friend's bach in Hanmer and were reported missing after leaving the area. Their car was found abandoned and stuck in the Hanmer River on Friday morning.

Police say a second call alerted them to the fact that the missing teens had been taking datura, which Senior Constable Ian Price describes as very hallucinogenic.

"What it does to the mind...is just beyond belief," says Price.

Police say it was hard to get much sense from the boy who was found in the bush.

"We've spoken with him in the local hospital. He's very disorganised in his thoughts," Price says.

Datura is toxic and leads to delusions, blackouts and dehydration.

Christchurch doctor Scott Pearson says there are no benefits to its use.

Police say in the latest incident the Christchurch teens may have consumed as much as 300ml.


Datura pair found in bush
17 May 2003

Police say the "stupid" actions of two Christchurch youths who became lost in bush after taking a cocktail of alcohol and drugs could easily have cost their lives.

The pair sparked a search and rescue in Hanmer Springs after running into nearby forest after boozing and taking datura - a hallucinogenic drug - about 10pm on Thursday.

The second of the two missing 17-year-olds was found at 7pm last night after the search which began at 11am when the pair did not return to their companions at a holiday house in the town.

He was "incoherent" when found but suffering only a minor foot injury and frostbite, Senior Constable Ian Price said.

His mother had travelled to the search scene.

The other youth, also 17, was found at noon yesterday wandering barefoot by a local farmer several kilometres from the Hanmer Springs village.

This youth had discarded his shoes and "now has virtually no skin on the bottom of both his feet", Mr Price said.

"He was mixed-up, possibly from hypothermia or whatever he was drinking," he said.

Both youths were taken to Christchurch Hospital for treatment last night.

Mr Price said he hoped people would learn from the incident.

"(Datura) is not a common thing now, but I hope people can see just how dangerous it can be."

Emergency personnel were at the beck and call of the public, "be their actions stupid or otherwise".

"Although it is in the stupid bracket this time, we are happy to have located them fit and well."

Mr Price said it was lucky that the Christchurch Search and Rescue squad was in Hanmer Springs on the way home from an exercise in Marlborough when the pair went missing.

It was joined by a rescue helicopter and a police dog.

Mr Price said police had not yet decided whether the two youths would face charges.


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