Call cops if shops sell legal highs

Legal highs come in a range of types and packaging.
Legal highs come in a range of types and packaging.

A police chief is encouraging members of the public to call if they believe shops are continuing to supply legal highs after a new law was passed banning them.

The new Psychoactive Substances Act bans the production, supply and importation of new psychoactive substances or so called legal highs and comes just a year after five students from Lancaster University fell ill after taking Spice, a cannabis substitute.

In March this year, a man in his 40s was found dead at a house on Thornton Road in Morecambe after taking a so-called legal high.

Det Chief Insp Graham Gallagher said: “Sadly we have seen too many people in Lancashire becoming seriously ill after taking legal highs.

“Often these substances contain illegal drugs and, when people buy them, they generally have little idea how potent the drug is so they do pose a real danger.

“I would encourage the public to let us know if they believe shops or establishments continue to supply psychoactive substances once the Act commences on May 26.”

A spokesman for Lancaster University Students Union said: “We provide educational materials for students on a wide range of health and welfare issues, including drugs, and the union is available to offer advice and support to students who have any questions or concerns.”

Police will be able to enforce the law using prohibition notices, premises notices, prohibition orders and premises orders, which allow police or local authorities to require people to stop stocking, selling or supplying psychoactive substances.

It will be an offence to possess ‘legal highs’ within prisons, or supply them to another. It is also be illegal to import from a foreign website.