Eviction threat to city shops over legal highs

SHOPKEEPERS who supply youngsters with deadly legal highs should face eviction, it was claimed today.

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Shopkeepers who sell legal highs to youngsters could face eviction
Shopkeepers who sell legal highs to youngsters could face eviction

The call came as council property agents today vowed to target any retailers cashing in on the deadly craze by selling the substances to schoolchildren.

Spot-checks will be carried out at Glasgow stores, where the untested highs, which mimic the effects of illegal drugs, are sold.

Retailers are permitted to sell the substances by labelling them as "plant food" or "bath salts".

However, shops are banned from selling the lethal legal highs to youngsters.

Letters have also been sent out to retail tenants reminding them of the law - and the potential repercussions if they break it.

City Property, the council's arm's-length landlord, manages the local authority's property portfolio, have vowed to pursue as "severe a punishment as possible" for any tenants caught selling legal highs to kids.

Councillor David McDonald said: "I think the council should warn any shop owner operating from one of their properties that if they are identified as selling legal highs their tenancy with the council will be ended immediately.

"I see these irresponsible shop owners as being nothing more high street drug dealers doing harm to our communities.

"I believe the council has a responsibility to be proactive in preventing the easy purchase of legal highs."

Council property bosses have pledged their "full support" to police and trading standards.

A spokesman said: "City Property is in unequivocal support of the recent Scottish Government summit into tackling the problem of shops selling legal highs to people under the age of 18.

"We will offer our full support should any of our tenants be suspected of knowingly taking part in this illegal activity.

"We have written to our tenants to warn of the repercussions of selling these substances to young people and have instructed our managing agent to undertake random checks."

So-called legal highs can cause drowsiness, hallucinations, paranoid states, seizures and death.

The Evening Times previously revealed how an increasing number of the substances contain banned drugs.

Meanwhile, detectives are visiting shops across the city where legal highs are sold.

Police warned retailers they could be held responsible for youngsters becoming ill - or even dying - under "culpable and reckless conduct" legislation.

Chief Inspector Alan Porte, commander for Glasgow city centre, said: "Those who make a profit from selling dangerous substances to youngsters can expect close scrutiny from the police."

rebecca.gray@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Drugs

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