Pub trade welcomes 'legal high' ban

By Lesley Foottit

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Drug addiction, Drug, Home office

Legal highs will be automatically banned
Legal highs will be automatically banned
The pub trade has cautiously welcomed a move by the Home Office to temporarily ban all new legal highs. The late-night sector has been hit by a...

The pub trade has cautiously welcomed a move by the Home Office to temporarily ban all new legal highs.

The late-night sector has been hit by a succession of "legal high" drugs in recent months, marketed as pond cleaner, plant food or bath salts.

New drug Ivory Wave hit the market this month and has been linked to at least one death already.

Former "legal highs" mephedrone and naphyrone have been reclassed as category B drugs following investigations by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).

Currently, the ACMD must research new substances before they can be banned, but in new proposals announced by the Home Office today any new "legal highs" would automatically enter a temporary 12-month ban.

During this time the drugs would be investigated. The Government will also toughen up penalties with a maximum 14-year imprisonment for supplying and an unlimited fine.

Minister for crime prevention James Brokenshire said: "The drugs market is changing and we need to adapt current laws to allow us to act more quickly.

"The temporary ban allows us to act straight away to stop new substances gaining a foothold in the market and help us tackle unscrupulous drug dealers trying to get round the law by peddling dangerous chemicals to young people."

Noctis executive director Paul Smith welcomed the ban in principle. "It is quite sensible given how quickly new drugs are being created," he said.

"It is welcome in terms of the number of drugs having an influence on the late-night sector. But I don't know how it would work in practical terms — we need a definition of 'legal high' and control of internet sales."

Related topics: Legislation

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