Legal Highs Crackdown: Dealers Face Prison
The Psychoactive Substances Bill proposes a blanket ban for all New Psychoactive Substances (NPS or “legal highs”), but substances such as alcohol, tobacco and caffeine would be excluded from the ban.
Authorities will be given greater powers to stop newly-created “legal highs” spreading on the streets, as well as tackling the “head shops” that sell such substances.
It will also give the police powers to shut down websites selling “legal highs”.
The focus from the Government at the moment is on the supply of “legal highs”, so the new law will not include a personal possession offence.
An example of how dangerous these substances are is the death of Jamie Penn a year ago.
He took 4,4′ DMAR – then a “legal high” – which killed him when it mixed with the ecstasy that was already in his system.
His sister Charlotte Audrey told Sky News: “There’s the frustration of him going by making such a little mistake, we lost such a big part of our lives.”
She welcomes the new legislation, but thinks it won’t solve the problem completely.
She said: “People might think about it a lot more before they do it, but unfortunately I think they will go underground, the prices will go up for the drugs, because then they are illegal.”
Under current regulations, NPS are banned on a drug-by-drug basis.
It is hoped the new laws will prevent dealers from simply changing the ingredients to make them legal again.
Home Office scientist Audrey Carmichael said: “The suppliers won’t be able to circumvent the legislation by tweaking small parts to the molecules that they are making, making it much more difficult for them to get round the legislation.”
(c) Sky News 2015