Calls for blanket ban on legal highs after five outlawed

Five legal highs, which have been linked to a number of deaths, have been banned by the Government for a period of 12 months.

The decision to ban the legal highs has been welcomed as another step forward in cracking down on the controversial substances.

But campaigners and politicians have called on ministers to ‘step up’ and impose a blanket ban on all legal highs.


Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire Simon Hayes said: “I support the government in imposing this ban. I hope, however, they will go further and pledge either a total ban or legislation governing the sale of these dangerous and life threatening poisons.

“A poll run on my website shows that the majority of respondents either feel that there should be a total ban on these mind-altering ‘legal highs’, or that the government should legislate their sale and that local authorities should ban their use in public places.”

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who campaigns against legal-highs, argued that more needs to be done to prevent them from being so “readily available”.

New batches

She said: “It’s great we have got a further ban on some particular substances which are highly damaging to the people taking them.

“But the guys in this industry will move on and create the next batch, so we need to use all of the tools that we have to prevent these substances being so readily available.”

In February this year it emerged that the sale of legal highs in the UK could be completely outlawed in new laws proposed by Home Secretary Theresa May – a commitment restated in the Conservative election manifesto.

Blanket ban

Currently, legal highs are banned on a case-by-case basis, unlike in Ireland where a universal ban exists.

The Government has banned 350 legal highs since 2010, but it has struggled to stop manufacturers in China and India from modifying the molecular structures and creating new forms of the drugs.

The Home Office has been planning to ban all attempts to advertise, sell or import the substances, and also outlaw the use of a substance based on its impact on the brain.

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