MPs call for crackdown on legal highs in line with Daily Echo Say No To Legal Highs campaign

Daily Echo: Adam Hunt died after taking legal highs Adam Hunt died after taking legal highs

AN URGENT crackdown on so-called “legal highs” will be demanded by a committee of MPs today, in the wake of a spate of tragedies in Hampshire.

Ministers are warned that the country is in the grip of an “epidemic”, which they say police ignorance and outdated legislation is failing to tackle effectively.

The number of people who have died after taking psychoactive substances has soared by 79 per cent – to 52 – in the last year, the Home Affairs Select Committee warns.

Such substances have claimed the lives of several young people in Hampshire and left others seriously ill.

The victims include Adam Hunt, 18, from Southampton, who died in hospital after consuming alpha methyltryptamine (AMT) and etizolam.

Trainee doctor Doug Ferguson, 19, of Chandler’s Ford, died after taking legal highs last year.

The substances mimic the effects of illegal drugs such as Ecstasy and cocaine but are not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

In the wake of the deaths of Adam an Doug, the Daily Echo launched its Say No to Legal Highs campaign calling for tougher laws and licensing rules for selling the drugs.

Now the committee’s report, published today, has demanded that police forces collect proper data on the “use and effect” of legal highs – warning they have “failed to understand” the problem.

It also calls for new legislation to shift responsibility for proving new substances are safe onto the seller – a model adopted in New Zealand - and mobile testing units at festivals, to clear out harmful or illegal substances quickly.

Better education on psychoactive substances in schools and colleges, it also srongly recommended.

Keith Vaz, the committee’s Labour chairman, said: “We are facing an epidemic of psychoactive substances in the UK, with deaths increasing by 79 per cent in the last year.

“New versions of these ‘legal highs’ are being produced at the rate of at least one a week – yet it has taking the Government a year to produce five pages of guidance on the use of alternative legislation. This slow response to the crisis may have led to more deaths. Those who sell these killer substances need to be held responsible.”

Legal highs can be found in petrol stations, takeaways, tattoo parlours, newsagents, tobacconists, car boot sales, sex shops, gift shops, market stalls and pet shops, the inquiry was told.

The report is likely to be welcomed by Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes and Southampton Itchen MP John Denham, who have both called for action against shopkeepers selling legal highs.

Comments (6)

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5:35am Fri 20 Dec 13

FreddyF says...

Though sensible regulation of psychoactive substances is very-much needed unfortunately the outcome of all this process is unlikely to be "regulation". The only response the government has ever come up with is more and more prohibition. Watch the illegal drug use statistics shoot back up again when legal highs are outlawed.

Also the number of deaths quoted for "legal highs", which includes a whole range of different substances lumped together to yield an impressive statistic, pales into insignificance compared to the 20 deaths a day due to alcohol and the 100 deaths a day due to tobacco. Maybe the vendors of alcohol and tobacco should be "held responsible" for the deaths they cause.

Calling a very rare cause of death a "epidemic" while ignoring the real epidemic of alcohol and tobacco deaths is morally bankrupt.
Though sensible regulation of psychoactive substances is very-much needed unfortunately the outcome of all this process is unlikely to be "regulation". The only response the government has ever come up with is more and more prohibition. Watch the illegal drug use statistics shoot back up again when legal highs are outlawed. Also the number of deaths quoted for "legal highs", which includes a whole range of different substances lumped together to yield an impressive statistic, pales into insignificance compared to the 20 deaths a day due to alcohol and the 100 deaths a day due to tobacco. Maybe the vendors of alcohol and tobacco should be "held responsible" for the deaths they cause. Calling a very rare cause of death a "epidemic" while ignoring the real epidemic of alcohol and tobacco deaths is morally bankrupt. FreddyF

8:49am Fri 20 Dec 13

Dai Rear says...

FreddyF wrote:
Though sensible regulation of psychoactive substances is very-much needed unfortunately the outcome of all this process is unlikely to be "regulation". The only response the government has ever come up with is more and more prohibition. Watch the illegal drug use statistics shoot back up again when legal highs are outlawed.

Also the number of deaths quoted for "legal highs", which includes a whole range of different substances lumped together to yield an impressive statistic, pales into insignificance compared to the 20 deaths a day due to alcohol and the 100 deaths a day due to tobacco. Maybe the vendors of alcohol and tobacco should be "held responsible" for the deaths they cause.

Calling a very rare cause of death a "epidemic" while ignoring the real epidemic of alcohol and tobacco deaths is morally bankrupt.
I think that the health fascists drone on quite enough about booze and fags thank you sir. I consume wine and cigars. I'm not an "epidemic" as far as I can establish.
When I suffered a reactive depression in the 1980's I consumed a tricyclic anti-depressant. When the illness abated I desisted. If you don't suffer the illness, don't consume AMT which is a tricyclic antidepressant. Another of these products is a drain cleaner, for goodness sake. If drain cleaner swallowers don't pass their genes on it may not be such a bad thing.
The fact that this garbage is apparently sold in skin graffiti "parlours" probably just about says it all.
However, it's (allegedly) a free country. Let the State keep its faecal hooter out, so if you weren't wittering on about booze and baccy FreddyF I'd give you an A*
[quote][p][bold]FreddyF[/bold] wrote: Though sensible regulation of psychoactive substances is very-much needed unfortunately the outcome of all this process is unlikely to be "regulation". The only response the government has ever come up with is more and more prohibition. Watch the illegal drug use statistics shoot back up again when legal highs are outlawed. Also the number of deaths quoted for "legal highs", which includes a whole range of different substances lumped together to yield an impressive statistic, pales into insignificance compared to the 20 deaths a day due to alcohol and the 100 deaths a day due to tobacco. Maybe the vendors of alcohol and tobacco should be "held responsible" for the deaths they cause. Calling a very rare cause of death a "epidemic" while ignoring the real epidemic of alcohol and tobacco deaths is morally bankrupt.[/p][/quote]I think that the health fascists drone on quite enough about booze and fags thank you sir. I consume wine and cigars. I'm not an "epidemic" as far as I can establish. When I suffered a reactive depression in the 1980's I consumed a tricyclic anti-depressant. When the illness abated I desisted. If you don't suffer the illness, don't consume AMT which is a tricyclic antidepressant. Another of these products is a drain cleaner, for goodness sake. If drain cleaner swallowers don't pass their genes on it may not be such a bad thing. The fact that this garbage is apparently sold in skin graffiti "parlours" probably just about says it all. However, it's (allegedly) a free country. Let the State keep its faecal hooter out, so if you weren't wittering on about booze and baccy FreddyF I'd give you an A* Dai Rear

9:19am Fri 20 Dec 13

hulla baloo says...

FreddyF wrote:
Though sensible regulation of psychoactive substances is very-much needed unfortunately the outcome of all this process is unlikely to be "regulation". The only response the government has ever come up with is more and more prohibition. Watch the illegal drug use statistics shoot back up again when legal highs are outlawed.

Also the number of deaths quoted for "legal highs", which includes a whole range of different substances lumped together to yield an impressive statistic, pales into insignificance compared to the 20 deaths a day due to alcohol and the 100 deaths a day due to tobacco. Maybe the vendors of alcohol and tobacco should be "held responsible" for the deaths they cause.

Calling a very rare cause of death a "epidemic" while ignoring the real epidemic of alcohol and tobacco deaths is morally bankrupt.
On that basis, cars are a legalised killing machine, best ban them as well.
[quote][p][bold]FreddyF[/bold] wrote: Though sensible regulation of psychoactive substances is very-much needed unfortunately the outcome of all this process is unlikely to be "regulation". The only response the government has ever come up with is more and more prohibition. Watch the illegal drug use statistics shoot back up again when legal highs are outlawed. Also the number of deaths quoted for "legal highs", which includes a whole range of different substances lumped together to yield an impressive statistic, pales into insignificance compared to the 20 deaths a day due to alcohol and the 100 deaths a day due to tobacco. Maybe the vendors of alcohol and tobacco should be "held responsible" for the deaths they cause. Calling a very rare cause of death a "epidemic" while ignoring the real epidemic of alcohol and tobacco deaths is morally bankrupt.[/p][/quote]On that basis, cars are a legalised killing machine, best ban them as well. hulla baloo

3:07pm Fri 20 Dec 13

FreddyF says...

Dai Rear wrote:
FreddyF wrote:
Though sensible regulation of psychoactive substances is very-much needed unfortunately the outcome of all this process is unlikely to be "regulation". The only response the government has ever come up with is more and more prohibition. Watch the illegal drug use statistics shoot back up again when legal highs are outlawed.

Also the number of deaths quoted for "legal highs", which includes a whole range of different substances lumped together to yield an impressive statistic, pales into insignificance compared to the 20 deaths a day due to alcohol and the 100 deaths a day due to tobacco. Maybe the vendors of alcohol and tobacco should be "held responsible" for the deaths they cause.

Calling a very rare cause of death a "epidemic" while ignoring the real epidemic of alcohol and tobacco deaths is morally bankrupt.
I think that the health fascists drone on quite enough about booze and fags thank you sir. I consume wine and cigars. I'm not an "epidemic" as far as I can establish.
When I suffered a reactive depression in the 1980's I consumed a tricyclic anti-depressant. When the illness abated I desisted. If you don't suffer the illness, don't consume AMT which is a tricyclic antidepressant. Another of these products is a drain cleaner, for goodness sake. If drain cleaner swallowers don't pass their genes on it may not be such a bad thing.
The fact that this garbage is apparently sold in skin graffiti "parlours" probably just about says it all.
However, it's (allegedly) a free country. Let the State keep its faecal hooter out, so if you weren't wittering on about booze and baccy FreddyF I'd give you an A*
If the number of deaths due to "booze and baccy" are socially acceptable to you then fine! In that case the alleged dangers of legal highs shouldn't even register on your scale of being a problem.

I'm not advocating a ban on alcohol or tobacco, just an end to the off-the-scale hypocrisy when it comes to other recreational drugs. Lets treat all of the drugs equally.
[quote][p][bold]Dai Rear[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]FreddyF[/bold] wrote: Though sensible regulation of psychoactive substances is very-much needed unfortunately the outcome of all this process is unlikely to be "regulation". The only response the government has ever come up with is more and more prohibition. Watch the illegal drug use statistics shoot back up again when legal highs are outlawed. Also the number of deaths quoted for "legal highs", which includes a whole range of different substances lumped together to yield an impressive statistic, pales into insignificance compared to the 20 deaths a day due to alcohol and the 100 deaths a day due to tobacco. Maybe the vendors of alcohol and tobacco should be "held responsible" for the deaths they cause. Calling a very rare cause of death a "epidemic" while ignoring the real epidemic of alcohol and tobacco deaths is morally bankrupt.[/p][/quote]I think that the health fascists drone on quite enough about booze and fags thank you sir. I consume wine and cigars. I'm not an "epidemic" as far as I can establish. When I suffered a reactive depression in the 1980's I consumed a tricyclic anti-depressant. When the illness abated I desisted. If you don't suffer the illness, don't consume AMT which is a tricyclic antidepressant. Another of these products is a drain cleaner, for goodness sake. If drain cleaner swallowers don't pass their genes on it may not be such a bad thing. The fact that this garbage is apparently sold in skin graffiti "parlours" probably just about says it all. However, it's (allegedly) a free country. Let the State keep its faecal hooter out, so if you weren't wittering on about booze and baccy FreddyF I'd give you an A*[/p][/quote]If the number of deaths due to "booze and baccy" are socially acceptable to you then fine! In that case the alleged dangers of legal highs shouldn't even register on your scale of being a problem. I'm not advocating a ban on alcohol or tobacco, just an end to the off-the-scale hypocrisy when it comes to other recreational drugs. Lets treat all of the drugs equally. FreddyF

3:08pm Fri 20 Dec 13

FreddyF says...

Dai Rear wrote:
FreddyF wrote:
Though sensible regulation of psychoactive substances is very-much needed unfortunately the outcome of all this process is unlikely to be "regulation". The only response the government has ever come up with is more and more prohibition. Watch the illegal drug use statistics shoot back up again when legal highs are outlawed.

Also the number of deaths quoted for "legal highs", which includes a whole range of different substances lumped together to yield an impressive statistic, pales into insignificance compared to the 20 deaths a day due to alcohol and the 100 deaths a day due to tobacco. Maybe the vendors of alcohol and tobacco should be "held responsible" for the deaths they cause.

Calling a very rare cause of death a "epidemic" while ignoring the real epidemic of alcohol and tobacco deaths is morally bankrupt.
I think that the health fascists drone on quite enough about booze and fags thank you sir. I consume wine and cigars. I'm not an "epidemic" as far as I can establish.
When I suffered a reactive depression in the 1980's I consumed a tricyclic anti-depressant. When the illness abated I desisted. If you don't suffer the illness, don't consume AMT which is a tricyclic antidepressant. Another of these products is a drain cleaner, for goodness sake. If drain cleaner swallowers don't pass their genes on it may not be such a bad thing.
The fact that this garbage is apparently sold in skin graffiti "parlours" probably just about says it all.
However, it's (allegedly) a free country. Let the State keep its faecal hooter out, so if you weren't wittering on about booze and baccy FreddyF I'd give you an A*
If the number of deaths due to "booze and baccy" are socially acceptable to you then fine! In that case the alleged dangers of legal highs shouldn't even register on your scale of being a problem.

I'm not advocating a ban on alcohol or tobacco, just an end to the off-the-scale hypocrisy when it comes to other recreational drugs. Lets treat all of the drugs equally.
[quote][p][bold]Dai Rear[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]FreddyF[/bold] wrote: Though sensible regulation of psychoactive substances is very-much needed unfortunately the outcome of all this process is unlikely to be "regulation". The only response the government has ever come up with is more and more prohibition. Watch the illegal drug use statistics shoot back up again when legal highs are outlawed. Also the number of deaths quoted for "legal highs", which includes a whole range of different substances lumped together to yield an impressive statistic, pales into insignificance compared to the 20 deaths a day due to alcohol and the 100 deaths a day due to tobacco. Maybe the vendors of alcohol and tobacco should be "held responsible" for the deaths they cause. Calling a very rare cause of death a "epidemic" while ignoring the real epidemic of alcohol and tobacco deaths is morally bankrupt.[/p][/quote]I think that the health fascists drone on quite enough about booze and fags thank you sir. I consume wine and cigars. I'm not an "epidemic" as far as I can establish. When I suffered a reactive depression in the 1980's I consumed a tricyclic anti-depressant. When the illness abated I desisted. If you don't suffer the illness, don't consume AMT which is a tricyclic antidepressant. Another of these products is a drain cleaner, for goodness sake. If drain cleaner swallowers don't pass their genes on it may not be such a bad thing. The fact that this garbage is apparently sold in skin graffiti "parlours" probably just about says it all. However, it's (allegedly) a free country. Let the State keep its faecal hooter out, so if you weren't wittering on about booze and baccy FreddyF I'd give you an A*[/p][/quote]If the number of deaths due to "booze and baccy" are socially acceptable to you then fine! In that case the alleged dangers of legal highs shouldn't even register on your scale of being a problem. I'm not advocating a ban on alcohol or tobacco, just an end to the off-the-scale hypocrisy when it comes to other recreational drugs. Lets treat all of the drugs equally. FreddyF

7:47am Sat 21 Dec 13

Dai Rear says...

FreddyF wrote:
Dai Rear wrote:
FreddyF wrote:
Though sensible regulation of psychoactive substances is very-much needed unfortunately the outcome of all this process is unlikely to be "regulation". The only response the government has ever come up with is more and more prohibition. Watch the illegal drug use statistics shoot back up again when legal highs are outlawed.

Also the number of deaths quoted for "legal highs", which includes a whole range of different substances lumped together to yield an impressive statistic, pales into insignificance compared to the 20 deaths a day due to alcohol and the 100 deaths a day due to tobacco. Maybe the vendors of alcohol and tobacco should be "held responsible" for the deaths they cause.

Calling a very rare cause of death a "epidemic" while ignoring the real epidemic of alcohol and tobacco deaths is morally bankrupt.
I think that the health fascists drone on quite enough about booze and fags thank you sir. I consume wine and cigars. I'm not an "epidemic" as far as I can establish.
When I suffered a reactive depression in the 1980's I consumed a tricyclic anti-depressant. When the illness abated I desisted. If you don't suffer the illness, don't consume AMT which is a tricyclic antidepressant. Another of these products is a drain cleaner, for goodness sake. If drain cleaner swallowers don't pass their genes on it may not be such a bad thing.
The fact that this garbage is apparently sold in skin graffiti "parlours" probably just about says it all.
However, it's (allegedly) a free country. Let the State keep its faecal hooter out, so if you weren't wittering on about booze and baccy FreddyF I'd give you an A*
If the number of deaths due to "booze and baccy" are socially acceptable to you then fine! In that case the alleged dangers of legal highs shouldn't even register on your scale of being a problem.

I'm not advocating a ban on alcohol or tobacco, just an end to the off-the-scale hypocrisy when it comes to other recreational drugs. Lets treat all of the drugs equally.
FreddyF you're absolutely right. let young people consume drain cleaner, antidepressants, live snakes, horse poo, whatever they will. I'm the libertarian. you're the one who wants to be authoritarian about stuff.
My only reservation perhaps is that my social group includes few teetotallers but my professional life has brought me into contact with users of "recreational drugs" and , by and large, they tend to be boring and fixated on themselves, which is perhaps why they keep trying to clobber their brains and avoid reality. But , hey ho, it's no crime to be a bore or all the alliance and the opposition would be behind bars.
[quote][p][bold]FreddyF[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dai Rear[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]FreddyF[/bold] wrote: Though sensible regulation of psychoactive substances is very-much needed unfortunately the outcome of all this process is unlikely to be "regulation". The only response the government has ever come up with is more and more prohibition. Watch the illegal drug use statistics shoot back up again when legal highs are outlawed. Also the number of deaths quoted for "legal highs", which includes a whole range of different substances lumped together to yield an impressive statistic, pales into insignificance compared to the 20 deaths a day due to alcohol and the 100 deaths a day due to tobacco. Maybe the vendors of alcohol and tobacco should be "held responsible" for the deaths they cause. Calling a very rare cause of death a "epidemic" while ignoring the real epidemic of alcohol and tobacco deaths is morally bankrupt.[/p][/quote]I think that the health fascists drone on quite enough about booze and fags thank you sir. I consume wine and cigars. I'm not an "epidemic" as far as I can establish. When I suffered a reactive depression in the 1980's I consumed a tricyclic anti-depressant. When the illness abated I desisted. If you don't suffer the illness, don't consume AMT which is a tricyclic antidepressant. Another of these products is a drain cleaner, for goodness sake. If drain cleaner swallowers don't pass their genes on it may not be such a bad thing. The fact that this garbage is apparently sold in skin graffiti "parlours" probably just about says it all. However, it's (allegedly) a free country. Let the State keep its faecal hooter out, so if you weren't wittering on about booze and baccy FreddyF I'd give you an A*[/p][/quote]If the number of deaths due to "booze and baccy" are socially acceptable to you then fine! In that case the alleged dangers of legal highs shouldn't even register on your scale of being a problem. I'm not advocating a ban on alcohol or tobacco, just an end to the off-the-scale hypocrisy when it comes to other recreational drugs. Lets treat all of the drugs equally.[/p][/quote]FreddyF you're absolutely right. let young people consume drain cleaner, antidepressants, live snakes, horse poo, whatever they will. I'm the libertarian. you're the one who wants to be authoritarian about stuff. My only reservation perhaps is that my social group includes few teetotallers but my professional life has brought me into contact with users of "recreational drugs" and , by and large, they tend to be boring and fixated on themselves, which is perhaps why they keep trying to clobber their brains and avoid reality. But , hey ho, it's no crime to be a bore or all the alliance and the opposition would be behind bars. Dai Rear

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