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Angelus Foundation Welcomes House of Lords Debate on 'Legal High' Headshops
Date:12/2/2013

LONDON, December 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Angelus, UK's leading legal highs charity, has welcomed this evening's debate on controls on headshops as, "achingly over due."

Clause (56NA) in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Police Bill proposed by the Opposition would have the effect of targeting the sale of "synthetic, psychoactive and intoxicating substances" commonly known as legal highs. It expected the Government will oppose the proposed law.

The new law would work by Trading Standards applying to a Court for a 'Synthetic Psychoactive Product Order' against any shop identified as selling legal highs. If they continued to sell these substances they would be guilty of a criminal offence, punishable by six months imprisonment or £5,000 fine.

Last year, in England and Wales, there were 52 deaths from legal highs, compared to 29 the previous year, and a further 47 in Scotland. The UN Office and Drugs and Crime last month estimated the numbers of young people in UK (aged 15-24) who have taken a legal high as 670,000 - making UK the highest consumers in Europe. As well as loss of life, these substances can cause short and long-term psychosis, paranoia, deep depression, body overheating (hyperthermia) and seizures.

The founder of Angelus, Maryon Stewart said: "This Parliamentary debate on headshops is achingly over due. Ministers can ban legal highs faster than ever but the market will always stay ahead. We need a new approach, which stops the sale of all these untested substances. The headshop sector is growing all the time and the pain to families, who have been damaged by their products, is spreading."

Notes to Editors:

1) The author and broadcaster Maryon Stewart lost her 21-year-old daughter, Hester, to GBL in
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SOURCE Angelus Foundation
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