Travis McLeod, the owner of Fremantle�s Finest on Adelaide Street, said he watched countless addicts attend drug programs and rehabilitation programs without success before finding their way back to hard drugs.
He said synthetic or �herbal highs� gave them a different avenue to try.
Mr McLeod said he was offering a �safe and healthy alternative to the hard stuff�, but the Drug and Alcohol Office says the substances pose a serious health risk and that users could never tell exactly what was in the drug.
�What I sell are not synthetic copies of illegal drugs. All the compounds are found in many plants and foods naturally and are allowed to be made into dietary supplements,� Mr McLeod said.
�It is possible to make herbal highs using compounds that are already found in the foods we eat every day.�
South Metropolitan Region MLC Phil Edman said he was �outraged� when told the store was openly selling synthetic drugs.
�It is inconceivable to me that a shop like this, that can do so much damage to families and the community, would be allowed to open in the City of Fremantle,� he said. �People need to be protected from the harms of illicit drugs and their synthetic copies, not encouraged to continue using them.
�The need is urgent, now more than ever, for the Government to introduce new legislation that will ban all forms of psychoactive substances.�
Drug and Alcohol Office executive director Neil Guard said new legislation would soon be introduced to Parliament that would ban the sale, supply, manufacture, advertising and promotion of psychoactive substances.
�A range of synthetic drugs continue to emerge at a rapid rate across Australian jurisdictions,� he said.