When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
MPs John Denham and Alan Whitehead back 'No To Legal Highs' campaign
TWO Southampton MPs are throwing their weight behind the Daily Echo’s campaign to clamp down on dangerous and deadly so-called ‘legal highs’.
Our campaign launched yesterday, demands tougher laws controlling the potentially fatal substances which have caused the deaths of three Hampshire men and left a Southampton teenager seriously ill.
We are leading calls for:
• Tougher laws, regulations and licensing rules.
• Vendors and sellers to be held to account.
• Tighter controls to stop vulnerable youngsters from being able to buy the products over the counter.
Mr Denham, who represents Southampton Itchen, said: “The term legal high is completely misleading because it implies it is inherently safe.
“But many have real dangers and we need to hit home that there is no such thing as a legal high.
“It’s completely irresponsible that owners of these shops ignore evidence that these drugs cause damage to people’s health.
“We need wider actions so that people selling them are personally responsible for the damage these substances do and are liable for the consequences.”
Mr Whitehead, for Southampton Test, added: “Current laws are completely inadequate to deal with them.
“There’s a huge loophole, with sellers claiming they are for one purpose yet they know they are being used for something else. They are enticing people to buy them without proper indication.
“You wouldn’t go to a confectionery store and buy a bag of sweets that had no indication of what poisons it contains.”
We launched the initiative just days after an exclusive Daily Echo investigation surrounding the so-called ‘legal high’ Sensate which left Southampton teenager Connor Holloway seriously ill.
Our undercover reporter was sold the drug – packaged as herbal incense and costing £29.99 – under the counter at Up in Smoke in Bitterne just days after owner Jaz Singh promised to remove it from his shelves in light of the incident.
He also sold us the so-called legal high Exodus Damnation, the same product which left Kent teenager Matt Ford suffering a heart attack when the 17-year-old took it two days after Connor’s ordeal.
Schoolboy Adam Hunt, from Millbrook, died in hospital in August five days after consuming alpha methyltrptamine (AMT) and etizolam at his home in Millbrook Road East.
AMT also claimed the lives of trainee doctor Doug Ferguson, 19, from Chandler’s Ford, in June last year and married father William Nutter, 32, from Andover.
Senior officers from Hampshire police’s Operation Fortress campaign to crackdown on violent crime surrounding illicit drugs are also supporting us.
Have you been affected by ‘legal highs’? Maybe you have taken one of them and suffered a bad experience, or a member of your family or friend has fallen ill while experimenting with one?
Perhaps you or someone you know regularly takes them and has become dependent or addicted to them and it has affected their physical or mental health?
We want to hear your story. Call the Echo on 023 8042 4498 or email email@example.com
Comments are closed on this article.