Financial investigators pursued the two hhigh, Stuart Percival and James Powell, for the money raised from the sale of psychoactive substances online. They said 31 outlets had closed, with a further no longer stocking the drugs. Police recorded arrests in the first six months after the act took effect. Ministers brought forward the legislation to crack down on NPS after they were linked to dozens of deaths.
One Manchester drug worker quoted in the report said: "It was so easy before. Offenders face up to seven years in prison, while civil orders can be issued to shut down "head shops" and online dealers.
These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image caption New legislation to tackle "legal highs" was introduced last year The sale of so-called legal highs has gone underground after a blanket ban came into force, a report says. There was an explosion in the popularity of NPS on the drug scene around a decade ago.
A ban on so-called legal highs came into force across the UK in when the Psychoactive Substances Act came into force. It concluded that most of the aims of the act "appear to have been achieved, with the open sale of NPS largely eliminated, a ificant fall in NPS use in the general population, and a reduction in health-related harms which is likely to have been achieved through reduced usage". But it said areas of concern had remained - or emerged - since the ban, and noted "continued high levels of synthetic cannabinoid use among the homeless and prison nfws.
You can still get hold of them just as easily. The legislation banned the production, distribution, sale and supply of psychoactive substances for human consumption.
Girl, 15, dies 'after taking legal high drug'
They were sold openly, mainly in specialist shops, before May Police recorded arrests in the first six months after the Act took effect. While the ban has led to a "considerable reduction" in use of the drugs, street dealers are now the main source of supply. Jennifer Harrower, procurator fiscal for specialist casework, said: "Stuart Percival and James Powell profited from the reckless sale of novel psychoactive substances, benefiting from money hkgh were not entitled to.
The review said this objective "does not appear to have been achieved", saying the ldgal of new psychoactive substances in the UK "has not ceased".
Legal highs | huffpost uk
The drugs contain substances which mimic the effects of "traditional" illegal drugs like cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy. Prices have gone up too and "ificantly" fewer people are using them. Related Topics. What exactly are legal highs?
'legal high' sellers ordered to pay back £,
Legal hig meant the recovery could not be reported until now. This suggests the ban has not yet brought an end to the "game of cat and mouse" between law enforcement agencies and those producing NPS. Now officially known as new psychoactive substances NPSthey mimic the effects of other drugs like cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy. After a four-year pursuit, the men admitted the six-figure sum in their bank was acquired unlawfully.
Legal highs | itv news
While there had been about prosecutions and sentences under the Act, there was insufficient evidence to address the question of whether it had been enforced "well", the review added. It said the potency of new psychoactive substances mainly in the form of spice or synthetic cannabinoids had increased despite new laws banning legal highs two years ago.
The study said the UK was the second largest seller of spice after China. Under the act, offenders can face up to seven years in prison, with civil orders being issued to close down online dealers and head shops.
Trade in 'legal highs' moves underground after ban
But the report warns the drugs have become more potent, with new strands of them continuing to be produced. The Home Office review said data from police forces suggests the legislation has led to head shops either closing down or no longer selling NPS, with retailers identified as having ceased sale of the substances, forcing it underground.
Since the Lega Substances Act PSA came in, they are no longer being sold in the stores, known as head shops, according to the Home Office review.