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Legal highs could soon be banned under new legislation

By Deborah McAleese

Published 18/04/2015

Dangerous legal highs in Northern Ireland could soon be completely banned, with moves under way to make all psychoactive substances illegal
Dangerous legal highs in Northern Ireland could soon be completely banned, with moves under way to make all psychoactive substances illegal

Dangerous legal highs in Northern Ireland could soon be completely banned, with moves under way to make all psychoactive substances illegal.

Once new legislation is passed in Westminster by drugs minister Norman Baxter, new laws are expected to be introduced here so that all potentially lethal substances can be prohibited.

Legal highs are currently not controlled, but the effects of them can be similar to those of controlled drugs such as cannabis and cocaine. Fresh concern over the dangers of legal highs arose this week following the death of Newtownards teenager Adam Owens who was discovered lying on grass outside a house in the town's Westwinds estate.

The 17 year-old's parents have blamed his death on legal highs. He was buried yesterday.

A crackdown last year by Belfast City Council is believed to have drastically reduced the sale of legal highs by retail outlets, commonly known as "head shops", across the city.

The council was granted permission by a court to destroy seized substances that it believes are "legal highs".

Former Belfast Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson said that other councils need to take similar action.

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