MEP Jonathan Arnott is backing calls by the Centre for Social Justice for so called ‘legal high’ party drugs to be banned.
Mr Arnott, who has long been a vociferous opponent of these dangerous drugs, spoke out after new figures showed the number of deaths linked to them has increased eightfold in three years.
Think-tank, CSJ is asking the Government to implement legislation similar to laws introduced in Ireland in 2010.
The move would mean that some 200 ‘head shops’, which offer a range of drug paraphernalia, would close.
“Former drugs minister Norman Baker was supporting a blanket ban on the marketing, sale and distribution of such psychoactive substances but he has since left the Home Office so that may well have been kicked into the long grass,” said Mr Arnott, the North East’s Euro MP.
“Well it is too important to be side lined; young people are continuing to lose their lives or end up hospitalised because of these ‘legal highs’ and the government must act.
“I am not a supporter of imposing blanket bans restricting people’s liberties but this is an exception to that rule. It is necessary because otherwise the manufacturers just change the chemical composition to get round specific bans.
“We have a problem with drugs generally in this country, mainly, but not exclusively, with young people and we must do more by way of education to deter them dallying with danger which can easily lead to long term addiction,” he added.