By Qudissiyah Kasu
The Grassy Park Community Police Forum (CPF) has called on pharmacies to be strict with the supply of cough syrups to youth. This comes after a 62-year-old man was found with codeine containing Stilpayne and dagga hidden in a hole in the backyard of his Grassy Park home. The man is the janitor at a high school in the area, however it is unknown whether the man in question has been selling the mixture on school premises.
Western Cape Education Department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond could not divulge details as the case is under investigation by police.
“The residence was off school grounds, so it isn’t school related. There is no evidence that drugs were sold at the school.”
The Grassy Park CPF has been campaigning for some time now to have this medication reclassified so that its sale and use require a doctor’s prescription. The CPF calls upon pharmacies in the area to be strict with the supply of cough syrups to youngsters.
The secretary of the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance, Philip Bam, said that ‘lean’ is a major problem and that not too long ago the Grassy Park police arrested two brothers who had a total of 240 bottles of cough syrup still packaged in boxes that came directly from the supplier. Bam said that the drugs circulate and are then sold to children who make the dangerous concoction.
The community police forum and neighbourhood watch have a regular joint operation and on the last operation community members directed the group to a house and indicated that they would find drugs under a bin in the yard. The police retrieved two boxes of Stilpayne. One box had already been emptied, the other box was left sealed, a plastic bag filled with dagga and plastic bags for redistribution was also found.
Bam said: “The police then arrested the owner of the property who then said it’s somebody else’s goods that are packed on his property.”
‘Lean’ has become a widespread problem in the area of Grassy Park and the substance is reportedly used as a date rape drug.
Bam said parents should keep a better look out over their children because the drug is extremely dangerous.
At pharmacies when getting cough syrup, you do not need a prescription, but it is believed that it has been put into action that all medication that contains codeine should only be distributed with a prescription.
“Some pharmacies are trying to prevent children from buying these drugs, but the children then get very demanding, rude and some even threaten the pharmacists with acts of violence,” said Bam.
“Lean is being sold on school premises and it’s become such a norm that the students are consuming it in class with no worry of getting into trouble.”
Bam said they are not sure how the students are receiving the drugs or who it’s being sold by. In one high school it is said that in every class there is at least one drug runner.
“It’s difficult because we can’t police these things all the time,” said Bam.