Synthetic marijuana. – Source: Breakfast
Hundreds of people around the country have taken to the streets today, calling for a total ban on legal highs.
The protesters, many of whom have first-hand experience of the impact of the legal drugs, believe new legislation aimed at regulating the synthetic drug industry doesn’t go far enough.
Demonstrator Dean Maguire says his use of legal highs almost destroyed his family.
“I neglected my oldest son for the first few years of his life,” says Mr Maguire.
“I was more concerned about being out with friends and smoking the stuff as oppose to being at home with that quality time with my children.”
Business owners are also unhappy, saying shops selling the legal highs are bad for their businesses.
“We see people having arguments and fights outside the shop,” says tattooist Jordan Henare.
“Other people are likely to not come over and things when they see groups like that hanging around.”
However, the Government says it’s impossible to ban all synthetic substances as manufacturers continue to invent new mixe
It says the new legislation has slashed the number of shops selling legal highs from 4,000 stores to just 153 and from 300 synthetic drugs being on sale there are now just 40.