View attachment 32836 Deadly ‘legal highs’ are being sold on Amazon. Despite warnings from campaigners, the online shop is selling salvia and describing it as ‘more powerful than LSD’. Nitrous oxide and poppers, which can be similarly lethal, are on sale as well. Maryon Stewart, whose daughter Hester died after taking the drug GBL, wrote to Amazon last month, asking it to withdraw the products along with drug pipes, bongs and scales.
- Internet giant is selling salvia, despite warnings from campaigners
- Nitrous oxide and poppers are on sale as well
- Maryon Stewart, whose daughter died after taking GBL, wrote to Amazon
- She has asked it to withdraw the products along with drug pipes and bongs
- She has had no response but says it is 'utterly irresponsible'
She has had no response and last night said: ‘It is utterly irresponsible that Amazon is selling this stuff and tantamount to an endorsement.
‘Amazon is a trusted brand and if it is selling something, it is likely to mislead young people into believing it’s safe.
‘We all know these products are not safe and people taking them are playing Russian roulette with their lives and mental wellbeing.’ EBay does not allow legal highs or drugs equipment to be sold through its site because it says they may ‘cause harm’.
View attachment 32838 But packets of ‘pure salvia extract’ are sold on Amazon Marketplace by a firm called John Strong Supplies.
It boasts of providing ‘the purest extracts at the best prices in the UK’ and cites Press articles describing the psychoactive herb as ‘more powerful than LSD, and legal’.
It states: ‘Salvia continues to be used by Mazatec shamans in its native Oaxaca for its spiritual effects, which last for five minutes and offer the shamans deep psychological effects.’
A disclaimer says the £7.99 product is a ‘herbal incense for the home’ but customer reviews make clear what it is used for.
One buyer said: ‘I can testify that this salvia is one of the best I’ve ever smoked. Buy, try, and fly high guys.’ Another praised ‘an amazing trip’.
Drug experts warn salvia can trigger psychotic episodes, particularly in young people and those with mental health problems.
It was linked to the death of Ryan Santanna, a 21-year-old film student who fell from a balcony in New York after smoking it in 2011.
Harry Shapiro of the charity DrugScope said that, at high doses, salvia has similar effects to LSD, triggering hallucinations and distorting time.
‘There is the danger with hallucinogenic drugs that people can injure themselves because they are seeing something that isn’t there,’ he added.
‘There is the very odd case of people who believe they can fly. And, of course, people can just get scared by whatever it is that they see.’
Nitrous oxide – known as laughing gas – can cause seizures, heart attacks and strokes.
Last year public schoolboy Joseph Benett, 17, died after inhaling it with his friends.
He suffered a heart attack and brain damage.
Nitrous oxide is widely abused as a middle class party drug and by students looking for a quick high.
It is often inhaled directly from party balloons.
Alarming side-effects include hallucinations, seizures, blackouts and incontinence. Drug experts warn it is especially dangerous with alcohol.
Amyl nitrate – known as poppers – is also on sale on Amazon as a ‘bottled room aroma’.
But the product descriptions make clear its intended use, 'working its magic’ with ‘heightened mood sensations’.
The Government’s drug website warns that poppers can cause death by reduced oxygen to vital organs. In June 2011, Eric James, a 46-year-old married father, died after inhaling amyl nitrate on Clapham Common.
It has proved impossible to prosecute over the sale of poppers because sellers can claim the product is a deodoriser.
Nitrous oxide can also be sold legally because it is used as a pressurised gas for spray cream cans. Government drugs advisers considered – but did not call for – a ban on salvia in 2011.
Last night a spokesman for Amazon said: ‘All sellers on Amazon Marketplace must adhere to our guidelines in relation to the products that they make available for sale on our web site, and we use a variety of methods to ensure compliance.
‘We act quickly to remove any items that contravene our guidelines and take appropriate action with the seller in question.’
Last night salvia and nitrous oxide were still widely available but it appeared Amazon had acted to remove amyl nitrate.
Mrs Stewart runs the Angelus Foundation which raises awareness of the risk of legal highs.
By JACK DOYLE
11 May 2013
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.