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Campaigning daily welcomes new legal high laws

A regional daily which has campaigned against so-called legal highs says it is “among the first” to welcome new legislation outlawing them.

The Southern Daily Echo praised the Psychoactive Substances Bill, which was outlined in the Queen’s Speech and published in draft on Friday.

The new laws apply to “any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect” – although certain drugs including alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are exempt.

The Southampton-based Echo welcomed the proposed legislation on Wednesday’s front page, pictured below.

Southern legal high

An editorial in the paper states: ” In some small yet significant way we can also lay claim to have played our part in bringing about this change in the law and, it must be said, change of heart by those who decide such matters.

“Our campaign called for an end to the selling of legal highs.

“Not long ago it was considered too difficult to ban these deadly substances, even though they claim the lives of too many young people each year.

“Because the ingredients that make up such chemicals can be changed and varied, we were told the definition of what should be outlawed was too difficult to pin down.

“Now it appears law makers have decided a way can and will be found to put a stop to the selling of such substances.”

Other regional newspapers to have campaigned on the issue of legal highs in recent years include the Kent Messenger and the North West Evening Mail.

The Echo editorial adds: “This will not end the problem, of course.

“The illegality of many drugs does not prevent them from being sold. But those dealing in death in this way will know that they run the risk of the harshest of penalties should they flout the law.

“The battle goes on, but we are a step closer to killing off this evil trade.”