Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East MP, Stuart McDonald, has today welcomed the publication of a report by the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, on which Mr McDonald serves as a member, as a further step towards the outlawing of psychoactive substances – so-called “legal highs”.
However Mr McDonald says the report also serves as a warning to the government that it shouldn’t rush new legislation through Parliament without listening to concerns, as that could make things worse rather than better.
Stuart McDonald commented:
“In 2013 over 100 deaths in Scotland were connected with the use of psychoactive substances – they are dangerous, and often not legal, which is why we should stop calling them ‘legal highs’. So I welcome the progress currently being made towards the outlawing of these substances.
“I spoke in the stage two debate on this proposed bill in parliament on Monday this week. Although action needs to be taken in this area to tackle availability and supply, as the committee report highlights, there are a number of problems with the proposed new law which we need to work through before it is passed to ensure that we limit any unintended consequences.
“Amongst a number of issues of concerns that the Home Affairs Select Committee raised are that the definition of these substances could make prosecutions difficult. We will seek to improve the legislation as it goes through parliament.
“I hope that following a robust parliamentary process this bill will see a strong framework in place to control and police the use of psychoactive substances, in a way that doesn’t exist currently.”