Robust legislation needed to deal with so-called legal highs - McLaughlin
Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has said robust legislation is needed to deal with so-called legal highs.
The chair of the Assembly's health committee said:
"There is no doubt that so-called 'legal highs' or psychoactive substances are causing misery in many communities.
"The British government has now signalled its intention to bring forward legislation to tackle these toxic substances and they must now ensure that any legislation is robust.
"Tough legislation, similar to that currently in place in the South should be introduced into the North to help prevent the sale of these drugs.
"Currently in the North a substance can be identified and banned but if just one ingredient is changed it can be sold. In the South a licence proving a product is safe is required before it can be sold.
"Harmonising the legislation on so-called legal highs would offer greater protection to our young people from these dangerous substances.
"Any new legislation must also deal with the online sale of psychoactive drugs in order to limit access and ultimately keep young people safer."