Legal highs summit to be held by government
- 28 Feb
A summit of drugs experts and police will be held by the government to tackle the issue of "legal highs".
Norman Baker, the Home Office minister, has said that the substances were a "very serious issues" for public health. He added that they were dangerous as people buying the hallucinogenic drugs did not know what was in them, reports the BBC.
The government has imposed bans on over 250 legal high. They are officially known as "new psychoactive substances" and several new types come on to the market each week.
Mr Baker has said that these drugs are readily available and reports have said they are being sold from ice cream vans outside of schools, which he says is "not at all acceptable." He will be meeting with experts to discuss the best ways of keeping up with the influx of legal highs.
Mr Baker told the BBC that the Home Office had been looking at models from around the world, for example in New Zealand legal highs are dealt with as a health issue.
Latest official UK figures show 68 deaths were linked to legal highs in 2012.
Mr Baker said: "This is a growing problem. Some of these substances are very dangerous and can and do lead to deaths. The way they're marketed and presented suggests to people that they are legal and safe. But sometimes they are not legal and they are certainly not safe."
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