The last two legal high shops in the county of Angus will shut their doors for the final time next month thanks to two Facebook groups.
The High Life, in Montrose, and Declaration, in Arbroath, will cease to operate in May thanks to the Montrose against Legal Highs and Arbroath Against Legal Highs Facebook groups.
The news of the closures has been celebrated, and welcomed, by local politicians and organisers of the community groups.
Pressure from the groups, which between them have more than 3,100 members, led to the owner of the two shops deciding that running them was “too much hassle”.
It is understood that the owner of the shops, Mr Pacitti, will continue to run his two other premises in Perth and Aberdeen.
Responding to reports that the ‘High Life’ shop in Montrose is to close local MSP Nigel Don told the Review: “I am really pleased that his shop is to close. The sale on our high streets of dangerously addictive substances is something which we can do without as a society.
“I congratulate all those involved in getting the shop owner to realise it is time to stop. I have recently met with local activist Lyn Torrance and with the local police and am delighted that their collective efforts have paid off.
“Whilst so called legal highs may not actually be illegal they are certainly potentially highly addictive and it is almost impossible for the health service to treat the consequences of overdoses of other side effects as no one knows what the chemistry really is.”
Carey Allen, who started the Arbroath Against Legal Highs Facebook page and assisted with the Montrose version, said: “The announcement of the closure of the two ‘legal high’ shops is excellent news.
“We are really pleased with the outcome in such a short space of time.
“The next step for the groups is to keep the pressure on the legislation of legal highs to be changed. The groups will also try to ensure that no other ‘legal high’ shop appears on our high streets.
“The Facebook groups will be staying open to try and deter anyone from selling the stuff.”
Both the Montrose and Arbroath groups can be found by searching for them on Facebook.
When the Review contacted the High Life shop on Monday they declined to comment.
In seeing the closing gown sale sign on the shop window of the ‘High Life’ in Montrose Lyn Torrance, who has led the Montrose against the Legal Highs Shop in the High Street, and has an online petition which has attracted large numbers of signatures, commented: “This is excellent news and welcomed by all of us who have worked hard to get this done. However, this is only one step in our campaign against the selling of the harmful substances which have led to loss of lives, hospitalisation, brain damage and had hugely adverse affect on so many people.”
Councillor David May, who is a member of the Montrose group, added: “I have heard about people in our town whose lives have been turned upside down due to taking substances some of which are lethal and I am also pleased to hear this news.
“However, our group will be very vigilant to make sure there is no reopening of the shop under another name or these substances being sold elsewhere is our Angus towns.
“I have also been in contact with the Scottish Justice Minister, The UK Minister, as well as George Lyon, the MEP, as action is needed at all levels.”