New ban forces shops in Great Yarmouth to stop selling legal highs

Some of the legal highs seized by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards from shops in Norwich bef

Some of the legal highs seized by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards from shops in Norwich before they were banned in May this year. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Police have welcomed a new law which bans so-called legal highs.

A ban on the production, supply and importation of legal highs came into today, with more than one shop in Great Yarmouth forced to stop selling the drugs.

The new law provides a blanket ban on new psychoactive substances (NPS) – anything capable of altering a person's state of mind, that is not already covered by current drugs laws. Excluded are medicines, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and alkyl nitrites or 'poppers'.

Ch Insp David Buckley of Norfolk Police, said: 'The greatest concern is that anyone taking them does not know what they contain

and previously they have been linked to both hospital admissions and deaths.

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'Police will now have the powers to take action against anyone involved in illegally supplying them or importing them.'

'We are encouraging the public to let police forces know if they believe shops or establishments continue to supply psychoactive substances.'

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The rise in the use of legal highs was a challenge for existing drugs laws, with new substances being developed at such speed that by the time one was banned, another with a slight change in chemical structure could take its place on the market. A number of deaths have been linked to taking them.

The new law will grant police powers to stop and search for, and dispose of, psychoactive substances. Officers will also be able to obtain search warrants for premises linked to the supply, importation or production of NPS.

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