Simpson vows action to tackle ‘legal highs’

The DUP will support new legislation to tackle the sale of psychoactive substances (also known as ‘legal highs’), local MP David Simpson has said.

“We have been working with colleagues both in Stormont and Westminster to strengthen the laws governing these dangerous and damaging substances. All the polls indicate the DUP could have considerable sway after the election and in such a circumstance new legislation to tackle legal highs will be a priority for us.

“Our manifesto will call for a UK-wide ban on new psychoactive substances. We will be demanding the new Government introduce, as one of the first pieces of legislation in the new Parliament, a Bill to tackle the scourge of new psychoactive substances.

“The subject matter of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is a reserved matter, and through a new Bill the DUP wishes to: Create a new UK-wide offence to deal with so-called ‘head shops’ by prohibiting distribution of these substances for human consumption and; Classify synthetic cannabinoids based on their effects on the brain rather than their chemical composition.

“These were two of the key recommendations from the Home Office Expert Panel Review instigated following correspondence from the DUP Health Minister in Northern Ireland back in 2013.

“The DUP supports the ongoing close engagement between DHSSPS in Northern Ireland and the Home Office on this matter.”

He said it was crucial the government acts in this complex matter.