A TOP Government health expert last night urged T In The Park chiefs to ban sales of “herbal highs” — over fears the legal drugs could kill a reveller.
Professor Les Iversen claims some are hundreds of times more powerful than many outlawed substances.
He and fellow specialist advisors are compiling a list which they will recommend Home Secretary Alan Johnson makes illegal.
But dozens of different varieties — including a Chinese product called Spice Gold — will be on sale, before legislation is passed, during Scotland’s largest music festival at Balado in Kinross next month.
And Oxford University’s Prof Iversen — who sits on the UK Government Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs — hopes T bosses will take action themselves to protect festival-goers.
He said: “Spice Gold is laced with a chemical hundreds of times more potent than cannabis.
“You have no idea what measure you are taking therefore the chance of overdose is very high.
“The fact it is currently legal may appeal to some people but this doesn’t mean it is safe.
“They can cause strokes and heart attacks which can obviously result in deaths.
“Drug sellers are currently ahead of the law but we are advising the Home Secretary of our findings.”
Spice Gold — which costs £25 for three grammes — and other herbal highs are smoked in a joint to get a cannabis-like high.
Its active ingredient has already been banned in France and Germany.
A similar order is unlikely to come into force in Britain until later this year.
Prof Iversen said: “Unfortunately nothing will be passed in time for T In The Park. I am a scientist, not a legislator, but the dangers should be clear to organisers.
“They can use their own discretion in what is the right course of action.”
Last night T In The Park bosses insisted the matter was one for cops to deal with.
A Tayside Police spokesman said: “We will watch developments but, at this time, these substances are not illegal and so cannot be enforced against.”
By DOUGLAS WALKER
June 11, 2009
The Scottish Sun
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