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KM Group campaign on legal highs aims to crack down on sales of the over-the-counter drugs

Legal highs have the power to kill, cause heart attacks or serious injury... yet they undergo fewer tests than a tin of baked beans. Kent has more legal high shops than any other county in the UK. Reporter Kiran Kaur finds out why.

High time to crack down on menace of legal highs

Smoking the 'drug'

Smoking the 'drug'


Is your child dicing with death by experimenting with drugs that can be bought over the counter... but can kill in an instant?

We call for a crackdown on the drugs that can snub out a life, but are readily used by youngsters around the county.

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'I'm scared every day'

Edwina

Edwina


A mum says she is frightened of losing her children to a cocktail of legal highs.

The teenagers, aged 14 and 15, have been taking the substances on a weekly basis since last August. 

Read her harrowing tale...


Shop owner quits plans to open legal high store after KM Group story

Harry Francis

Harry Francis


A businessman says he has quit plans to sell legal highs at a new shop following an angry backlash from people in the town.

Harry Francis will no longer consider selling the controversial herbal products after receiving threats.

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Police to visit every secondary school in one town

The Towers School

The Towers School in Ashford

Every secondary school pupil in one Kent town is to be warned by police of the potentially fatal dangers of dabbling in so-called legal highs.

It comes after three teenage girls from the town were left needing hospital treatment after taking legal highs.

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Kent has more legal highs shops than any other county

A user smokes a legal high

A user smokes a legal high

Kent has more shops selling legal highs than any other county in the UK, it's claimed.

Only Greater London has a higher number of so-called head shops than Kent, according to research by the Angelus Foundation.

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Mum's fight to warn others of legal highs dangers after son's death

Karen Audino

Karen Audino

A mother who claims she lost her son to legal highs is this week launching a website warning others of the dangers of the lawful 'drugs'.

Karen Audino spoke out because she believes her 20-year-old son Jimmy Guichard died after taking synthetic cannabis.

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Why baked beans undergo more tests than legal highs

Baked beans

Baked beans

A tin of beans undergoes more tests than drugs that could land users in intensive care.

That is from a key charity worker who believes education on legal highs could help crack down on a menace that has claimed lives in Kent.

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MP calls for legal highs to be banned 

Canterbury and Whitstable MP Julian Brazier

Canterbury and Whitstable MP Julian Brazier

Canterbury MP Julian Brazier has called on the government to take a tougher stance against the selling of legal highs by widening legislation. 

The politician has written to Home Office minister Norman Baker and has asked him to consider widening legislation to tackle so-called head shops.

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Bar manager bans legal highs from club

Donal McLoughlin

Donal McLoughlin

A zero tolerance attitude towards legal highs in nightclubs could help crack down on the use of all drugs on nights out.

That is from a Maidstone bar which has a blanket ban on legal highs to avoid confusion between substances that are on either side of the law.

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College spearheads fight against legal highs

Canterbury College

Canterbury College

A Kent college is leading the fight against legal highs which can potentially kill in an instant.

It follows the heart attack of former Canterbury College student Matt Ford, who nearly died after taking the drugs.

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 Teen has heart attack after taking legal high

Matt Ford says he nearly died after taking a legal high

Matt Ford says he nearly died after taking a legal high

 

A traumatised teenager was just minutes from death after suffering a heart attack sparked by a legal high he took in his bedroom.

Canterbury College student Matt Ford, 17, lost consciousness and was foaming at the mouth after smoking Exodus Damnation – a herbal incense.

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 Kent MP calls for civil action to fight menace of legal highs

Julian Brazier hopes civil injunctions will be introduced to prevent the sale of legal highs

Julian Brazier has asked the council to help struggling traders

A Kent MP hopes shops selling legal highs will quickly close - if the government supports his new idea to prevent their sale.

Julian Brazier, MP for Canterbury and Whitstable, says civil injunctions should be introduced to stop shops from selling the chemicals. 

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 Government minister accepts KM Group legal highs dossier

Minister Norman Baker accepts the legal highs dossier from Kiran Kaur and Nicola Everett, together with MPs Julian Brazier and Tracey Crouch

Minister Norman Baker accepts the legal highs dossier from Kiran Kaur and Nicola Everett, together with MPs Julian Brazier and Tracey Crouch

One death from legal highs is too many.

That is from government minister Norman Baker, after he accepted our campaign on legal highs as part of a wide-reaching review.

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Trading standards and police in raids on 'legal highs' stores in Kent

 

Officers enter a store in Canterbury

Officers enter a store in Canterbury

 Widespread raids have been carried out across the county today at shops suspected of selling legal highs. 

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Kent's legal highs toll revealed as raids breakdown released

Packages were taken from 20 stores across Kent

Packages were taken from 20 stores across Kent

 The full toll of 'legal highs' packets seized in raids has now been released - with nearly 1,900 discovered in shops allegedly selling the substances in Kent. 

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