"Legal Highs" Law "Won't Work"

Welsh drugs charities tell Heart a law banning the sale and production of so-called “legal highs” won’t work.

The Psychoactive Substances Bill, published by the UK Government on Friday, aims to eradicate the growing problem of the substance misuse.

However Dan Rowley from Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service in Newport said it won’t make a difference:

“In the long term, I don’t see it making any difference.

“What it will do is create a criminal element overnight to something that isn’t criminalised so far.

“I understand people are worried about the effects it could have on their children and their families, but it’s their responsibility to try and educate themselves and their families as best they can.

“Heroin has been banned for more than 100 years and it’s still a massive problem in this country.”

Under new legislation, anyone caught selling or producing "legal highs" could face up to seven years in prison.

It’ll also give police and other authorities more powers to target shops and websites selling them.

But Clive Wolfendale, Chief Executive of CAIS in north Wales said it’s a difficult area to control:

“Sometimes they can be disguised as other products.

“And ff course there’s a whole range of providers, very difficult to control across borders and then there are black sites and hidden sites on the internet as well.

“The whole thing is very difficult.”