The home secretary has announced plans to bring forward new laws to ban new and unregulated drugs (frequently known as “legal highs”). The new law could be in place before the general election.
The Home Office is drafting legislation to outlaw the sale and distribution of “new psychoactive substances” (NPS) such as mephedrone — known as “meow meow” — that have been linked to scores of deaths but have proved difficult to legislate against.
Ministers have previously struggled to outlaw the chemicals, which have become fashionable party drugs and are sold openly on websites and high streets across the UK.
350 legal highs have been banned since 2010 but each time this happens manufacturers, often in China and India, tweak the molecular structure to create new versions that have the same effects but are not technically identical and are therefore not illegal.
In Warwickshire we have a couple of shops who sell these products and, through Trading Standards, we have carried out test purchases and analysis. In addition we have also produced materials to warn the public of the dangers of taking substances where the effects are unpredictable or not known.
Anyone concerned about their use of any drugs can contact our local services for help and advice.