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602 new legal highs arrived last year

The figure is more than double the number in 2014

  • Dave Turner
  • 2 March 2016

It's been revealed that around 602 new psychoactive substances surfaced in 2015, the same year the UK government introduced a law cracking down on legal highs.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), a body of the United Nations, has reported last year saw a 55 per cent increase of the drugs, trumping 2014's fresh substances figure of 388.

Despite labeling the surge as a "growing threat" which will need "workable approaches to tackle", the UN organisation hinted the war on drugs may not be the best way to progress, instead highlighting people's wellbeing.

INCB president Werner Sipp said: “It is not the case that the world must choose between ‘militarized’ drug law enforcement on one hand and the legalization of non-medical use of drugs on the other; but rather to put health and welfare at the centre of a balanced drug policy.”

We reported in May last year that the sale of laughing gas would be illegal in the UK under the Psychoactive Substances Bill, but there are worries that the legislation could lead to people being wrongly criminalised.

Former Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg and Richard Branson have both been advocating for a worldwide drug policy reform, the former saying the war on drugs is a losing battle and the latter stating drug use should be treated as a health issue.

[Via: the Telegraph]

[Illustration: Jimmy Turrell for The Guardian]

Dave Turner is Mixmag's Digital News Editor, follow him on Twitter

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