MP urges caution on ‘legal high’ laws

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Hasty legislation to outlaw so-called “legal highs” could do more harm than good, according to local MP Stuart McDonald.

The SNP MP (Kirkintilloch East, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) says publication of a report by the Commons’ Home Affair Select Committee, on which he’s a member, is a further step towards outlawing dangerous substances.

He said: “In 2013 over 100 deaths in Scotland were connected with the use of psychoactive substances – they are dangerous, and often not legal, which is why we should stop calling them ‘legal highs’.

“Although action needs to be taken in this area to tackle availability and supply, as the committee report highlights, there are a number of problems with the proposed new law which we need to work through before it is passed to ensure that we limit any unintended consequences.

“Amongst a number of issues of concerns that the Home Affairs Select Committee raised are that the definition of these substances could make prosecutions difficult.

“We will seek to improve the legislation as it goes through parliament.

“I hope that following a robust parliamentary process this Bill will see a strong framework in place to control and police the use of psychoactive substances, in a way that doesn’t exist currently.”