So pleased to note that Reading Festival banned Legal Highs from their festival over the weekend.
Legal Highs pose a particular kind of problem that to me signals exactly why drugs should maintain an identity in terms of the law. The lack of any kind of legal identification paradoxically indicates safety – ie these are ok as they are no illegal. Yet these substances, clearly identified as ‘not for human consumption’ are made with poisons and toxic substances that are completely unregulated and unidentified exposing the curious teen to life threatening experimentation in the name of a good time and rock ‘n’ roll; particularly when mixed with alcohol.
People need proper education around drugs so they know what risks they are taking, and the proper support available when they run into difficulty. They also need to recognise difficulty when it happens; sounds strange but it’s true. An aspect of Addiction is denial; so knowing you have a problem is genuinely hard. The role of the justice system should be to provide support by maintaining a legal line in the sand for those who abuse the system.
How many more deaths need to occur before we take action and follow Reading’s example?