MLA calls for 'legal highs' to be banned
Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has said that there needs to be legislative change in order to deal with the issue of legal highs.
Mr Hazzard stated,
“I took the opportunity to ask the Minister of Justice if he intends to take legislative action to deal with the issue of legal highs.
“Several people have died and many more have been physiologically damaged due to taking so called legal highs yet they continue to be available on the open market.
“The problem in the North is that once a substance has been identified and removed all that needs to be done is for one ingredient to be changed and it can go back onto the market.
“I am calling on a similar system to that deployed in the South of Ireland where the producer must obtain a license before the product is passed to be sold on the open market.
“While the legislation is ultimately a reserved matter it is important that the Minister for Justice David Ford presses the British Government to bring forward legislation as soon as possible.
“Several councils including Belfast and Larne have brought forward motions opposing the sale of legal highs and I would encourage all other Councils to bring forward similar motions in an effort to combat the threat posed by these substances.”