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Govt announces 'legal high' ban

26th August 2009

The government has announced a crackdown on so-called 'legal highs' which have been shown to be damaging to users' health.

Man-made chemicals sprayed on herbal smoking products such as cannabinoid Spice and the chemical solvent GBL will be banned by the end of the year, the Home Office has announced.

The new law follows a consultation on the options for controlling GBL under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Synthetic cannabinoids, GBL and Benzylpiperazine, as well as other piperazines, will be categorised as either Class C or B drugs by the beginning of next year.

Home secretary Alan Johnson explained that there is a perception that many legal highs are harmless.

However, he warned: 'In some cases people can be ingesting dangerous industrial fluids or smoking chemicals that can be even more harmful than cannabis.

'Legal highs are an emerging threat, particularly to young people and we have a duty to educate them about the dangers.'

The government's announcement has been timed to coincide with the start of the traditional student Freshers Week at UK universities.

Professor David Nutt of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs also welcomed the decision.

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