Portsmouth councillor who has taken legal highs backs government’s plans to ban substances

Independent councillor Paul Godier
Independent councillor Paul Godier
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A CITY councillor who admitted taking legal highs in the past has backed the government’s plans to ban them from the streets.

Cllr Paul Godier, of Portsmouth’s Charles Dickens ward, said some strains of the new psychoactive substances are more harmful than illegal drugs.

Kids and a lot of the people taking them are not going to start knocking it up with a chemistry set.

Portsmouth councillor Paul Godier

This week’s Queen’s Speech included a bill proposing a ban on the production, distribution and sale of the drugs, also known as new psychoactive substances.

The move could spell the end of the new wave of ‘head shops’ which have sprung up across the Portsmouth area.

Cllr Godier, an independent, said: ‘It’s a good step by the government.

‘There are arguments about them still being available to buy on the internet, but there isn’t going to be anyone on the streets dealing legal highs.

‘Kids and a lot of the people taking them are not going to start knocking them up with a chemistry set.

‘But we could see people go back to taking illegal drugs – which in my opinion are less harmful.

‘There has only been one report of death in this country as a result of cannabis, and that’s not conclusive.

‘And then you look at legal highs – the ratio is ridiculous.’

Cllr Godier and Tory councillor Hannah Hockaday were the first elected members on the city council to bring the issue to light. The authority is now considering banning the use of legal highs in all public spaces.