Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called for an all-Ireland approach to tackling the scourge of new psychoactive substances, also known as ´legal highs´.
“As a member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee, we have followed legislation on these substances very carefully. Their availability is a cause of great concern and the effect some of these substances have on users is horrific.
“Some have been connected to the deaths of scores, if not hundreds of users in short space of time. One of these substances, MDVP, is ten-times as potent as cocaine or methamphetamine.
“Proposals to place Europe wide control measures on a number of these substances will be put to the European Parliament in October. Sinn Féin will be supporting these and calling on member states to legislate as efficiently as possible to prevent these substances from gaining a foothold in the illicit market.
“One cause for concern is that Britain opts out of European legislation governing the control of these substances, meaning their legal status in the north of Ireland may not the same as the rest of the island.
“Any variation on the island will be seized upon by those manufacturing, distributing or selling these vile substances.
“The powers to deal with drug abuse should be devolved to the institutions of government in the north to allow us to effectively deal with the scourge of these drugs on an effective local and all-Ireland basis.”