A WARNING has been issued to young people dabbling with the latest in legal highs – which have similar side effects to drugs like cocaine.

Police said they were con- cerned about the ‘emerging market’ for the latest in untested ‘drugs’ being sold to children as young as 13.

The new legal high of choice in Blackburn is now ‘Magic Dragon’, a substance clearly marked as unsuitable for human consumption, but sold legally in the UK as incense.

One Blackburn shop owner said he had become so concerned about the issue of young people taking legal highs he had agreed to implement an over 25’s policy on his legal highs.

Sadjay Asal, 41, who runs Smokers World, in Higher Church Street, Blackburn, said: “I have voluntarily implemented an over-25’s sale policy two weeks ago. There is definitely an issue with young teenagers mis-using legal highs.

“I have heard there have been a number of incidents recently with older siblings buying legal highs for younger children and then they have overdone it and become ill. I have 13 or 14-year- olds coming in here on a daily basis trying to buy Magic Dragon.”

Blackburn Inspector Ian Whitehead is urging young people to think of the cons-equences before experimenting with so called ‘legal highs’. He said: “While the use of legal highs is a national issue, there is an emerging market locally in Blackburn. “I think there needs to be more education about the fact these drugs are not test-ed, or controlled.

“Some of these drugs can have very serious side effects similar to some of the illegal hard drugs around.

“We are working with a number of local retailers to try and make sure the sales of these drugs are carried out responsibly.”

Up until recently, drugs known as ‘Black Mamba’ and ‘Annihilation’ have legally been sold and used in Blackburn and Hyndburn.

But, following concerns about the potential lethal side effects, the Home Office last month reclass-ified the substances as Class B drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act.