WEST Midlands MEP James Carver has welcomed calls for so-called "legal highs" to be banned.

UKIP MEP James Carver has backed a push by the Local Government Association (LGA) for all psychoactive, brain altering drugs to be banned.

The LGA wants the government to adopt an approach similar to that in Ireland where, instead of banning drugs on a case-by-case basis as in the UK, all psychoactive drugs are outlawed and then some, such as alcohol and tobacco, are exempted.

Deaths from legal highs have more than doubled in the past four years - rising to 60 last year from 26 in 2009.

Mr Carver said: "These so-called legal highs destroy lives and I very much welcome the intervention by the LGA.

"Legal highs are a menace. No sooner is one drug banned than the unscrupulous manufacturers alter the formula so that it can then be peddled legally.

"I fully back the LGA's stance on legal highs. It is now time for the Government to take urgent action."