It’s a start but a ban on legal highs is what’s needed

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Legal highs are a modern scourge on society.

As if it wasn’t bad enough when it was just the illegal drugs that everyone knew.

Now there’s pushers, at every turn trying to stay one step ahead of law enforcement by tweaking the formula of their dangerous products.

There seems to be very little anyone can do to stem this tide.

Which is why it’s very welcome to be able to report, as we do on page seven, that the government is making moves to tackle the problem.

It has agreed to a year-long ban on certain compounds used in the production of these so-called ‘highs’.

The aim is to stop the growth of popular ‘legal highs’ sold as an alternative to cocaine.

Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes welcomes this move and we wholeheartedly support him.

And we’re not alone in that support.

A poll he ran on his website showed public opinion also backed a call for a ban on these mind-altering chemicals.

Mr Hayes calls for the government to go even further and make moves towards a total ban – an idea that sounds eminently sensible.

We’ll have to wait until May 8 to find out who would be able to make that change but it’s certainly one we back the call for.

As we report, Gosport man Matthew Flatman died after taking one of the cocaine-style highs – a tragic death that will be reverberating among his family and friends to this day.

So yes, this is the first step in the right direction, but it must be just that – the first step. The natural end must be a ban. Only that can guarantee there will be no more families left grieving like Matthew’s.

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