DEBATE - Is legalising drugs the answer?

Legal highs.
Legal highs.

A debate has sprung up around legalising cannabis in an attempt to eradicate legal high use in Harrogate.

As revealed today in a Harrogate Advertiser investigation, these deadly new psychoactive substances are taking hold in the district, with children as young as 12 being targeted.

Click here to read the full report, as it emerges hospital admissions for poisonings in the district have more than doubled in the last two years.

“They are spreading like wildfire,” said Andy Kirk, of the Harrogate Homeless Shelter.

“A lot of young people in Harrogate are using these legal highs and their parents just aren’t aware. This is really new.”

Now, as the debate turns to how to deal with the issue, some people are calling for drugs to be legalised as then they can be tested and regulated - eliminating the need for such new psychoactive substances.

What do you think? What can - and should - be done? Is waiting for a law change enough to tackle this problem? Or should we look at ways that other towns and cities have combated the issue? Legal highs are banned outright in Lincoln, and shops are being shut in Blackpool. What is the answer for Harrogate?


“Legalise all drugs and stop the unelected Government telling us what we can and can’t do,” said Stephen Webb on Harrogate Facebook group Grumbler.

“No one says making drugs will make them safe, just safer. And controlled. People won’t smoke synthetic cannabis if regular cannabis was legal.”

Brian Fisher said: “I believe certain drugs should be legalised, this gets rid of the black market, where drugs of any grade with any old crud in can be sold, making them more dangerous than ever.”

Alexander Banner, agreed. “Legalise weed for sure,” he said. “Working in the states, crime down, revenue up. It’s less damaging that alcohol.”

Luke Foster said: “Legalise all but regulate, even tax them! Makes everyone more money, stops crime and well its a pretty much win win for all sides.

“Legal highs are only legal because they’re not tested, but when they are tested most of them become illegal or stopped all together.”

Cristie Feldman said: “I really don’t think it will be cheaper when legal.

“Once legal you have to add in wages, tax, insurance, etc to the cost you sell at...prices will go up.

“The cost of marijuana went up in Colorado after it went from medical to full legalisation.”

Alexander Banner said: “The legal highs of past few years were dangerous, as addictive as heroin. Almost. Cheap too. Until they are tested the law can’t do anything.”

Bernie Cook said: “Legal highs are considerably more dangerous than the drugs they seek to synthesise in that the medical profession has no idea whatsoever to do if you turn up with a problem.

“There isn’t the wealth of knowledge on legal highs that there is on actual and long used drugs in fact in a lot of cases no case history at all.”

- Join the debate - comment below, call 01423 707509 or email to have your say.