No 10 looks at 'legal highs' review
Downing Street is looking at proposals to make the sellers of so-called "legal highs" liable for any harm the products cause, Prime Minister David Cameron said.
The change was one of the recommendations in Monday's report by the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, which called for a fundamental review of the Government's approach to drugs.
Mr Cameron dismissed the committee's key recommendation for a Royal Commission to consider alternative methods of tackling the issue, including legalisation.
But he conceded that he saw merit in the committee's proposal for a change in approach to "new psychoactive substances".
The report said that the law was currently unable to keep up with the rapid development of legal highs, which can be sold without legal consequences until the point when they are specifically banned.
Monday's report said: "Retailers who sell untested psychoactive substances must be liable for any harm the products they have sold cause.
"It is unacceptable that retailers should be able to use false descriptions and disclaimers such as 'plant food' and 'not for human consumption' as a defence where it is clear to all concerned that the substance is being sold for its psychoactive properties, and the law should be amended."
Giving evidence to the Commons Liaison Committee, Mr Cameron told Home Affairs Committee chair Keith Vaz that he had asked officials to carry out work on the proposal.
"I was particularly interested in what you said about legal highs," said the Prime Minister. "I thought that was rather an interesting policy suggestion and I have asked my team at Number 10 to have a look at that."
Mr Cameron's comments came as he took wide-ranging questions on law and order issues from the cross-party Liaison Committee, which is made up of the senior backbenchers who chair Commons committees.
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