Charity calls for action over legal high dealers


A homeless charity in Lincoln says a ban on legal highs in the city centre has pushed the problem underground.
The UK’s first city-wide ban on people taking legal highs in public came into force last April.
Breaking the order became a criminal offence, with police given powers to issue on-the-spot fines.
The YMCA’s Malcolm Barham said he welcomed the order, but said more needed to be done to “stop the supply” of psychoactive substances.
More on this and other stories at Lincolnshire Live
“I guess for the general public they are seeing less issues with legal highs, but for those of us who work with people who use these things, nothing has really changed.”
Mr Barham said: “They are awful things that mess with people’s heads and make them do things they wouldn’t normally do.”
One homeless women told the BBC legal highs “are still very easy to get hold of” in the city centre.
A new law making it an offence to supply psychoactive substances is expected to come into force on 6 April.
The Psychoactive Substances Act makes it an offence to produce, supply, offer to supply, possess with intent to supply, possess on custodial premises.
It provides police powers to stop and search people, seize and destroy substances.Lincolnshire Police’s Pat Coates said the force recognised legal highs were still “a significant issue in certain pockets of the community”, but said the ban and forced closure of two “head shops” have had a “significant impact”.
“Prior to the ban, we were getting reports of children becoming ill during the school day having taken these substances,” he said.
Police said new powers would make enforcement easier, and help the force to target dealers.

Tech Will Force Lawyers to Do More for Those Billable Hours

Abstract background with symbol of balance

SILICON VALLEY ENTREPRENEURS and venture capitalists have deployed digital tech to change the ways we live, eat, and shop. They’ve aggressively moved into crucial industries like healthcare and finance. But the practice of law is one area of expertise that has remained stubbornly resistant to disruption.

That is slowly changing. Recently, Andreessen Horowitz led an investment round of more than $8 million in Everlaw, a startup that helps lawyers sort through documents, emails, and other evidence with the cloud-based service ahead of trials. It was the venture firm’s first investment in legal tech. Other startups such as Clio, Judicata, and RocketLawyer have cropped up in recent years seeking to make the practice of law more efficient and less expensive. And several angel investors, at least, have started to take notice.“We’re really at the beginning of a phase where technology is going to begin coming, where’s it’s really having a significant impact,” says Justin Hectus, the director of information at Keesal, Young, & Logan, a full-service law firm based on the West Coast.

Yet to understand how legal tech could have a significant impact on the venerable practice of law, it’s important to see why the sector has, in many ways, been a challenge for entrepreneurs. The legal industry, for one, is much smaller than say the financial services one, and, like healthcare, it requires a high degree of expertise. But most crucially, the lawyering business itself is set up in a way that resists efforts to move fast and break things—even though, and perhaps because, such innovations could help make the law more accessible for everyone.

The Way Things Work
The legal sector is largely driven by law firms—and law firms function differently than hospitals, banks, or individual consumers do.

“The primary delivery of law is through a law firm,” says Daniel Martin Katz, an associate professor of law at Illinois Tech at the Chicago Kent College of Law. But law firms can’t raise capital and they’re not allowed to share the profits of their firms with non-lawyers—which means lawyering itself is not conducive to investment.