Boycott stops legal high sales at newsagent

The Paperview store has stopped selling legal highs. Picture: Toby Williams
The Paperview store has stopped selling legal highs. Picture: Toby Williams
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A NEWSAGENT has withdrawn sales of a legal high blamed for at least one death following a boycott by angry residents.

The Paperview store in Musselburgh’s North High Street came under fire last month after peddling the substance known as Burst for £10 a packet.

Posters were put up in the area by outraged residents urging shoppers to stay away from the shop as it sold legal highs which “wreck, damage and kill”.

Store bosses displayed their own message yesterday, telling customers they had caved in and removed Burst from sale.

Burst, which is colourfully packaged and labelled as “bath salts”, is injected by heroin addicts. Users say it is “like heroin and ecstasy combined”, but drug advice agencies warn it will corrode veins if injected.

A 36-year-old drug user from Musselburgh is understood to have died as a result of injecting. Another man was last month in hospital awaiting leg amputation while other users have been admitted for hospital treatment.

Alan Hay, former chairman of the East Lothian Alcohol and Drugs Forum who lives in Musselburgh, said: “I don’t know who was behind the boycott but I’m very pleased they did this.

“If a shop is selling legal highs then the community should stage a boycott. That should be the case anywhere in Scotland so I’m glad it happened in Musselburgh.

“This is a shop which sells sweets to children. It’s totally unacceptable to have legal highs being sold alongside them in an obvious attempt to make more money.”

Musselburgh councillor John Caldwell said: “I’m glad the shop has stopped selling them. They may be legal but there are still far too many questions over these substances.”

The posters put up by residents read: “Boycott this shop. They sell legal highs. They wreck, damage and kill young people’s lives.”

Shop bosses acted after being hit with a wave of bad publicity over the sales.

A shop spokeswoman said: “We have taken the step to act as a responsible retailer and remove this product from our shelves. The product is available in shops throughout the UK but reports believe that it could be very dangerous and this is why we have taken this decision.”

Two shops in Musselburgh specialising in electronic cigarettes are understood to sell the substance.

A police spokesman said: “Police Scotland strongly advises that people do not take New Psychoactive Substances [legal highs] because no-one can be sure what they contain.”