(Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty)

    Trying to ban legal highs? Expect a bad trip

    27 May 2015

    Keep an eye on the government’s ban on legal highs. The Conservative ­manifesto pledged to outlaw all the horrible chemicals kids smoke and snort for fun these days, on account of them being easier to get hold of than the straightforward, honest illegal narcotics we had when I were a lad.

    Certainly they’re worth banning, but I’m on tenterhooks to see how they’ll go about it. Chemical compositions are easily tweaked, meaning there’s no point in specifically banning a substance, because another not-quite-identical one springs up days later. Banning substances intended for human consumption won’t work, either, because these things all claim on the packaging that they aren’t. One of these days, a government will click that every effort ever devised to stop people putting horrible things into their bodies has only led to them putting even more horrible things into their bodies. Although I don’t think it will be this one.