Lisburn and Castlereagh City Councillor Amanda Grehan has welcomed a ban on so-called ‘legal highs’, after the Psychoactive Substances Act received royal assent.
Due to be implemented this spring, the act will prohibit production, supply and importation of what Councillor Grehan called “potentially dangerous drugs, often incorrectly called ‘legal highs’”.
Offenders could face up to seven years in prison.
“Banning these substances is a very welcome move to protect our young people,” said alliance’s Ms Grehan.“They are often produced and packaged in backstreet garages with no controls on hygiene or what goes into the packages.
“Tests on packages found in Northern Ireland have shown the same brand-name to regularly contain different ingredients. This can lead users to take more when they do not get the same effect as previously, and overdosing can result.
“We have seen too many of our young people become ill, or tragically die following use of these products.
“The people producing or selling these substances are only interested in making money and have no concern for the users.
“I have highlighted this issue in the council chamber and I applaud the efforts of Justice Minister David Ford, who has worked closely with the Home Office to have this new law enacted.
“As a mother, I am pleased another potential danger will be removed from our streets.”