Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame (SNP) is supporting legislative moves to ban the sale of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS).
But, she believes that the police and Crown Office should be using common law to tackle the problem of the so-called “legal highs”.
Speaking during a debate in Parliament on progress on implementing recommendations of the expert review group on NPS, Ms Grahame spoke about a young Gorebridge man who died after injecting an NPS called Burst.
She said: “It took him seven weeks to die; after many operations, septicaemia took his life. Following that, one of my local papers, the Midlothian Advertiser, launched a campaign to ban NPS. I joined that campaign and I would praise the paper for its campaign.
“In the same month, through a third party, I purchased a so-called ‘legal high’ from a shop that sells e-cigarettes in Dalkeith.
“The third party, a reformed drug addict, was able to purchase the white sparkly powder from under the counter. Despite it being marked as “not for human consumption” the shopkeeper would have recognised the third party and his addictive past.” She added:“There have been successful prosecutions in relation to glue sniffing. Two shopkeepers in Glasgow were arrested and charged inter alia with supplying to children glue-sniffing kits but gave notice of objection to the indictment stating that, on the charge of supplying, the facts as libelled did not disclose a crime known to Scots law because there was nothing illegal about the items that they had supplied.
“Their plea was rejected and they appealed but the High Court took the view that, even though Evo-Stik glue and plastic bags might be perfectly legal everyday items, the two shopkeepers knew perfectly well what the children were going to use the articles for.
“It seems to me that the supply of materials for ingestion or injection for purposes of a high that are known to, or are likely to, cause injury or death fits the same bill as the successful glue-sniffing prosecutions. I do not understand why, to the best of my knowledge, there have not been any prosecutions.”