Your favourite legal highs to be BANNED under the Tories
First they came for the laughing gas
Your festivals are about to be ruined by a ban on legal highs.
The Tories are putting forward the Psychoative Substances Bill to stop the sale of legal highs like poppers and laughing gas.
And people who sell balloons can now face up to seven years in prison for dealing.
Ban-happy lawmakers used the Queen’s speech to announce their plan for a legal-high free Britain, heralding the end of picking up three balloons for five pounds on the street after a night out.
The new law aims to stamp out the crafty drug cooks who sidestep existing legal high bans by creating variations of outlawed narcs.
Now the Government will outlaw “any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing any psychoactive effect”, cuffing offenders with a maximum sentence of seven years’ in jail.
They added the ban will cover UK websites selling legal highs, which could be shut down by police.
Denouncing the evils of what they call “hippy crack”, a Government press release today explained the legitimate sale of nitrous oxide will not be affected.
Minister of State for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Victims, Mike Penning, said: “Young people who take these substances are taking exceptional risks with their health and those who profit from their sale have a complete disregard for the potential consequences. That’s why we are targeting the suppliers.
“The landmark bill will fundamentally change the way we tackle new psychoactive substances – and put an end to the game of cat and mouse in which new drugs appear on the market more quickly than Government can identify and ban them.
“The blanket ban will give police and other law enforcement agencies greater powers to tackle the reckless trade in psychoactive substances, instead of having to take a substance-by-substance approach.”
The Government claim to have already banned over 500 new drugs, recently Benzo Fury and NBOMe.
The new bill would mean selling any newly-created substances affecting mood, perception or consciousness would be illegal.
Anti-drug lawmakers argue legal highs are unsafe, claiming 120 people died taking them in 2013.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for New Psychoactive Substances, Commander Simon Bray said: “When people buy dangerous drugs they will generally have little idea how potent the drug is or what it may contain.
“Sadly we have seen too many people losing their lives or becoming seriously ill after taking so-called “legal highs” under the impression that they are safe.
“A blanket ban on new psychoactive substances will make it simpler for law enforcement to deal with those drugs which are potentially unsafe but which may not yet be controlled.”
What’s actually going to happen?
We spoke to narco-expert and VICE columnist Max Daly, who predicted how the ban would affect us.
He told The Tab: “Legal highs are the loudest problem because of kids getting them from head shops, so the government gets embarrassed.
“It’s mainly schoolkids and homeless people and the vulnerable. This law will stop the vulnerable getting hold of them.
“The more sophisticated drug user will still get their legal high online.
“It will probably affect laughing gas more than any other drug, which is the most commonly bought anywhere.
“It’s so popular with students that people will buy it online and sell it in their halls to make profit. It won’t be so easy to get hold of, so the usage will go down but the price will go up.”
Maryon Stewart, who runs legal high charity Angelus Foundation, said: “We expect the law to impact very significantly on the high street trade.
“The open sale of new psychoactive substances has led to dangerous experimentation with many young people being badly affected by their unpredictable effects and some ending up in hospital.
“Sadly, too many have paid the ultimate price from taking these risky substances and this change will go a long way to stop further deaths.
“No law can offer the perfect solution to protect people from drugs; it is equally vital we all concentrate our efforts of making the public, young people in particular, more aware of the harms of these substances in schools, at university and during festivals.”