Town shops back ban on legal highs

Underworld on Church Street Mansfield backs new legal highs laws announc3ed in the Queen's Speech.
Underworld on Church Street Mansfield backs new legal highs laws announc3ed in the Queen's Speech.

Two Mansfield shops which have sold ‘legal highs’ in the past have welcomed plans for a blanket ban on them.

The shops Underworld and Headspace on Church Street were responding to Government plans to ban the controversial substances outlined in the Queen’s Speech this week.

Under the new law, it would be an offence to produce, supply, offer to supply, possess with intent to supply, import or export psychoactive substances under proposals outlined this week – with the possibility of a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment as a deterrent.

The idea behind the Psychoactive Substances Bill is to create a blanket ban which would prohibit and disrupt the production, distribution, sale and supply of new psychoactive substances (NPS) in the UK.

At Underworld, the proprietor who did not want to be named, said: “We were selling them when we were allowed to sell them. We were visited by Trading Standards and stopped eight months ago. I’m in favour of the ban at least we know where we are.

“It all got out of hand , there is a lot of stuff around now that is home made. The strength used to be regulated by the people that made it. People weren’t getting addicted to it but now they are.

“I think it is at the end of its days now, it is too much of a problem.

“I don’t think anyone knew when legal highs started out how big it was going to get. When they became mass produced it got out of hand.”

AT Headspace, a spokesman said the shop stopped selling legal highs last year after a visit from Trading Standards. He said; “At least everyone now knows where they stand. But everyone knows alcohol and tobacco are the biggest killers and they are legal. If you misuse anything you get problems.”

Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, chairman of Notts County Council’s community safety committee, said the trading Standards team is working with Notts Police and other local partners to use the legislation currently in place to tackle the sale of NPS.

She said: “We are concerned that people are putting their lives at risk by consuming these untested chemicals, that unscrupulous traders continue to sell.”

Around 360 packs of untested drugs were seized last year in a raid on a Mansfield shop.