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McLaughlin welcomes legislation to tackle so-called 'legal highs'

3 February, 2016 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has welcomed news that legislation to tackle so-called legal highs will soon be extended to the North. 

Ms McLaughlin, the chair of the Assembly's health committee, said; 

"There is no doubt about the misery psychoactive substances or so-called legal highs cause across all communities. 

"Toxic substances, which masquerade under the guise of legality, have led to deaths and caused untold harm to so many, particularly young people. 

"The passage of the landmark Psychoactive Substances Act will ban the production, supply and importation of these deadly substances and penalties will involve up to seven years imprisonment. 

"Sinn Féin has consistently called for an all-Ireland approach to deal with so-called legal highs and this legislation, which will come into effect here in the Spring, will be similar to legislation already in place in the 26 counties. 

"The legislation in the south was successful and led to the closure of almost 100 so-called head shops. 

"While this legislation is welcome in terms of tackling the local sale of so-called legal highs, many of these substances are sold online and we must ensure every effort is made to make sure these substances are not available anywhere."

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