Midlothian MP welcomes plan for ban on ‘legal highs’

Owen Thompson mp
Owen Thompson mp

Midlothian MP Owen Thompson (SNP) has welcomed the proposed ban on so called ‘legal highs’ as part of a debate on the New Psychoactive Substances Bill.

The Bill, which tackles New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) saw its second reading in the House of Commons on Monday.

Speaking in the debate, Mr Thompson highlighted the terrible death of a young man from his constituency who died after injecting a legal high earlier this year.

The tragedy sparked a local campaign to close a tobacco retailer in Dalkeith where customers can purchase a variety of chemical compounds that are labelled as being ‘not fit for human consumption’.

Mr Thompson called on the government to take a more proactive and preventative approach in educating young people about the dangers of all drugs.

He said: “The bill should come into force with a robust and solid plan that focuses on educating our youngsters not just about NPS but all substances, legal or otherwise, to ensure that we are not pushing people towards a path of criminal activity.”

“To achieve this we need to educate as much as we need to legislate.”

He highlighted the challenge in identifying which chemicals to ban without unintended negative impacts on medical and scientific research. The Bill will now be considered by the public bill committee who are scheduled to report by the end of October.