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Minister on legal highs

NPS – so called ‘legal’ highs – present a challenge that cannot be ignored, says the Home Office Minister of State for Crime Prevention Norman Baker. He said that the Coalition will develop proposals for a blanket ban similar to that introduced in Ireland in 2010. He said: “This would give law enforcement greater powers to tackle the market in so called ‘legal’ highs in general, instead of on a substance by substance basis.”

In December 2013, Norman Baker, pictured, commissioned an expert panel to look at the challenge of NPS. He has also commissioned the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to provide advice on a cutting-edge way of basing legal controls for synthetic drugs that mimic cannabis on the effects these substances have on the brain rather than their chemical structure. Also proposed are training given to front-line NHS staff to deal with the effects of NPS use and the publication of new guidance by Public Health England for local authorities, including advice on integrating NPS into local drugs education, prevention and treatment work.

He summed up: “The UK’s approach on drugs remains clear: we must prevent drug use in our communities, help dependent individuals through treatment and wider recovery support, while ensuring law enforcement protects society by stopping the supply and tackling the organised crime that is associated with the drugs trade.”


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