Aberdeen pubs enforce ban on legal high drug mephedrone

By chillinwill · Feb 17, 2010 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    A "legal high" drug linked with the recent death of a woman has today been banned by pub and club chiefs in a city.

    The move in Aberdeen comes amid growing health concerns over the substance mephedrone, commonly known as Bubbles, which has become popular among young people as a recreational drug.

    Any customers caught with the drug in bars or nightclubs in the Granite City now face a ban by trade body UNIGHT Aberdeen.

    A woman died at a house in Dunfermline last month after she was thought to have taken Bubbles, according to police.

    The Scottish Government has written to the Home Office calling for the drug to be banned as responsibility for banning or re-classifying drugs lies with Westminster.

    Mephedrone, a white powder, is sold legally as a plant fertiliser.
    UNIGHT Aberdeen chairman Mark Donlevy said: "There has been a lot of concern about this drug across the country, even though it is not a controlled drug.

    "This is still a psychoactive drug and has the potential to cause anti-social behaviour, which we will not tolerate and could even cause serious health issues for users.

    "This ban sends a clear message to our patrons that we will not tolerate drugs of any kind and anyone caught with mephedrone will face a ban – not just from one establishment, but all of them."

    Grampian Police today backed the "commendably robust" approach taken by nightclub chiefs.

    Detective Inspector Andy Imray said: "It is a mind-altering drug which has already led to people acting irrationally and seeking medical attention.
    "Unfortunately, the substance is uncontrolled and relatively easy to acquire – and many people think the dangers of the drug are minimal because of this."

    Health chiefs today said there is little scientific research into the long-term effects of mephedrone.

    Fraser Hoggan, of NHS Grampian, said: "Short-term effects can include sweats and chills, increased heart rate and palpitations, agitation, increased blood pressure and possible psychological dependence, including the urge to re-dose.

    "There can also be impaired short-term memory and, in some cases, anxiety and paranoia."

    February 16, 2010

    Share This Article


  1. chillinwill
    A "legal high" drug has been banned in Aberdeen pubs and clubs.

    Anyone caught using or trying to get into premises with mephedrone - commonly known as "bubbles" - will be banned.

    Trade body Unight said it had taken the decision after widespread concern about the substance's safety. It is sold on the internet as a plant feeder.

    Grampian Police warned that anyone taking the drug was taking an enormous risk.

    Martin Greig, chair of Aberdeen Community Safety Partnership, added: "The premises in the Unight scheme are right to ban this substance in order to protect their customers."

    February 16, 2010
    BBC News
  2. chillinwill
    Drug law shake-up aims to curb ‘legal’ highs

    A fundamental change in drugs law that would criminalise the act of selling or manufacturing recreational drugs rather than outlawing the substance itself has been proposed by the Scottish government, and is being studied by officials in Edinburgh and London, The Times can reveal.

    The proposals are aimed at targeting the growing use of legal highs such as mephedrone, or “meow-meow” — a plant food that can be bought over the internet and which has a similar effect to Ecstasy or cocaine.

    Police and ministers are increasingly concerned that criminals are able to stay one step ahead of the law by creating pharmaceutical combinations outside the latest illegal drug classifications.

    The proposed changes to criminalise the sale of drugs rather than the substance itself is based on the traditional mens rea principle of Scottish law, which seeks to establish intent rather than the act itself.

    If new legislation can be agreed between Holyrood and Westminster, it would apply throughout the UK, and not just in Scotland.

    Fergus Ewing, Minister for Community Safety in the Scottish government, told The Times: “It’s plainly obvious that if drugs can be manufactured to bypass the law then the model of criminality is one that needs to be looked at.

    “The current model criminalises the substance. We really need to have a model which criminalises the activity and the intent behind the activity.

    “After all, the whole basis of Scots criminal law is that there is a mens rea — a mental intent to do harm or to cause benefit at the expense of others in a way which is unacceptable.

    “The method of making law by defining everything is not the traditional approach in Scotland. The mens rea [in drug dealing] is making profit out of the sale of a substance, whether that substance at the moment has a legal use — plant food, in the case of mephedrone — or an illegal use.”

    Officials in Mr Ewing’s department are working with the Home Office to consider how the law could be changed.

    The move comes as pub and club bosses in Aberdeen took steps to ban mephedrone, a “legal high” substance containing amphetamines. The trade body representing them said yesterday that anyone caught with the drug would be banned from their premises.

    A woman died at a house in Dunfermline last month after she was thought to have taken the drug.

    Mephedrone, or its many derivatives, is also causing serious concern on Tayside, where use of the drug has soared in recent months among schoolchildren. At least five users in the Dundee area have suffered nonfatal overdoses in recent months. Known by its slang names “meowmeow” or “bubbles”, the drug is in the process of being banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

    Mr Ewing, who has written to the Home Office making it clear that mephedrone should be added to the list of banned substances, said that the matter of illegal drugs was reserved to Westminster, and he sought to avoid making it a party political issue.

    “We should work with the UK Government to look at other potential solutions,” he said. “Exactly what those are is for legal draughtsmen and lawyers to come up with, but I don’t think it’s beyond the wit of Man to devise and provide a different model of making illegal what one can see is plainly a pernicious and evil trade.

    “It’s an honest recognition that the law, as is blindingly obvious to everyone who is involved in the field, has not kept pace with the chemical ingenuity of organised criminals. It seems to me that logically we have to look again at the Misuse of Drugs Act with a view to finding a method where we are ahead of the organised criminals.”

    Otherwise, Mr Ewing said, it had to be accepted that once one substance was banned, the criminals would simply bring forward another.

    Current thinking is that the new definitions will criminalise the sale of anything in situations where it can be “reasonably expected” to be used as a hallucinogenic or intoxicant by human beings, regardless of what its other uses are.

    The Scottish Crime and Drugs Enforcement Agency has written to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs also suggesting that the activity of selling drugs than rather just the substance should be criminalised.

    Mr Ewing said he was concerned that young people who took recreational “highs” could be drawn into more problematic drug use. He said: “There are a large number of recreational users, who might have been regular cannabis users but now might be taking cocaine or legal highs.

    “Those who start off by taking one drug may then go on, perhaps egged on by dealers, to try others and I think that’s just part of the facts of life.”

    Melanie Reid
    February 17, 2010
    Times Online
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!