1. Alfa
    What’s being done about legal highs?

    PARLIAMENTARIANS yesterday slammed the state for dragging its feet over banning so-called legal highs available across the island and even in kiosks.

    The issue was discussed before the House Crime Committee, with DISY deputy Tasos Mitsopoulos presenting a satchel of ‘Ivory Wave’ – sold as bath salts for €50.

    “I happened to be present among young pupils who used these substances experiencing the exact symptoms [associated with a cocaine high]… of euphoria and delirium,” Mitsopoulos told the committee.

    He wondered why the state has not nothing about it since these substances have been imported into the island for the past year “and other European countries have immediately banned [their] availability”.

    Committee chairman Yiannakis Thoma said the delay in banning these substances was unacceptable.

    “While there were promises by state officials that a banning order would be swiftly processed … so far the procedure has not gone ahead,” Thoma said.

    DISY deputy Ionas Nicolaou echoed Thoma, adding deputies have received threats – which he described as not serious – from importers of such products aiming in preventing them from dealing with such issues.

    DIKO deputy Stelios Ieronymides was circumspect about elevating the issue since it could prompt youths to try the substances.

    With the same logic the state should ban cough syrups, glues and other material which could be used as drug substitutes, Ieronymides said.

    Drug Squad Superintendent Stelios Sergides said most of these products contain synthetic substances like JWH, which is considered addictive and its use has been banned.

    THC Pharma, a specialist pharmaceutical laboratory commissioned by municipal authorities in the German city of Frankfurt, reportedly found varying quantities of JWH-018 in packages of Spice – a so-called legal high that is smoked.

    JWH-018 has now been banned in at least four EU countries – Germany, Austria, Netherlands and Switzerland.

    Another product sold on various websites – banned in numerous European countries – is Salvia. It is used “as part of spiritual ceremonies and traditional healing” and “has become a powerful tool for soul searching and exploration of consciousness.”

    Possession and sale of Salvia has been banned in various countries including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Sweden.

    A person needs a doctor’s prescription to use it in Estonia, Finland, Iceland and Norway while Spain and Russia also ban its sale.

    By George Psyllides Published on January 28, 2010



  1. chillinwill
    Re: Cyprus parliament slams state over delay in legal highs ban.

    Legal highs on the way to being banned

    A PROPOSAL is due to be approved by the Cabinet next week to ban the six of the most common active ingredients in so-called legal highs currently being sold at many kiosks throughout the island

    “The Minister of Health said he is ready to take the proposal to the Cabinet to declare these substances banned. I would add that they are already banned in many of the countries in the EU,” said DISY deputy Tasos Mitsopoulos.

    Part of the purpose of the current initiative, according to Poppy Kanari, Director of the State Laboratory, is to put into place a rapid mechanism whereby new active ingredients can be banned so as to protect the island’s youth and make things difficult for suppliers. Health Minister Christos Patsalides has confirmed that the active ingredients analysed by the State Laboratories will be added to the list of banned substances.

    One of the biggest legislatives problem faced in dealing with the newfound prevalence of legal highs is that, once one range of substances are legislated against, producers simply introduce another range of substances with different ingredients.

    “So far four substances have been analysed by the State Laboratory, and police keep bringing more,” said Mitsopoulos.

    According to people who have used the legal highs currently on the market, they have worse side-effects than the substances they are intended to substitute for. Moreover, they do not produce ‘satisfactory highs’.

    “It’s weak and headaches and stuff. Complete drowsiness and quite horrible really,” said one source who wished to remain anonymous of herbal mix Dream, one of the legal highs to be banned.

    “They’re all sh*t, but, y’know, when there’s nothing around, might as well,” said another of all the legal highs currently on the market.

    Ivory Wave, marketed as bath salts, sold for €50, and intended to be a substitute for cocaine is said to have the most marked side-effects including the development of breathing difficulties and the heart rate speeding up or beating irregularly during usage. Internet posters who reported that they were “hardened drug users” said they had difficulty coping with it.

    “The bottom line is that this product does give a very good buzz, however this has to be offset against what can only be described as a biblical hangover that lasted 72 hours,” said one informed user of Ivory Wave.

    The irony of the current situation is that, because the legislative position tends to lag considerably behind pharmaceutical research in the field, substances which have worse side-effects continue to be legal whilst the physiologically milder substances they are substituting for remain illegal such as cannabis, which is what most herbal legal highs are bought to substitute for.

    By Sebastian Heller
    January 30, 2010
  2. chillinwill
    Re: Cyprus parliament slams state over delay in legal highs ban.

    Cabinet moves to ban ‘legal high’ ingredients

    SEVENTEEN synthetic narcotic substances are set to be banned by an executive decision of the Cabinet today. As of today, police will also be moving against the banned substances.

    The 17 substances are constituent ingredients of ‘legal highs’ sold in many kiosks around the island, such as Dream, Spice and Ivory Wave (the latter of which is intended to substitute for cocaine).

    Parliament’s Committee for Criminality is also seeking to promote legislation which will allow for the swifter banning of such substances in future.

    “Cyprus currently find itself under a continuous barrage of new substances, new suspicious compounds, the number of which is continually increasing in the global market,” said Health Minister Christos Patsalides.

    The substances which the government seeks to ban are those that contain narcotics or as substitutes for narcotics. According to Stelios Ieronymides, an MP involved in the debate, “At this point in time in Europe there are at least 200 compounds which it is suspected are capable of producing the effect of narcotics.”

    One of the larger problems faces by legislators is that new substances and compounds are developed more quickly than they can be analysed, or legislated against, under the current legal structure.

    Another problem is that, once the ingredients included in one compound are banned, the manufacturers of the products in question change the active ingredients so as not to include those legislated against.

    According to Poppy Kanari, Director of the State Laboratory, manufacturers of narcotics substitutes do not list some of the ingredients on the packaging in which the substitutes are sold. This is especially the case as regards potentially harmful or chemical substances which they may, upon laboratory testing, be found to contain.

    By Sebastian Heller
    February 4, 2010
  3. Terrapinzflyer
    Re: Cyprus parliament slams state over delay in legal highs ban.

    Kiosk owners called on to withdraw ‘legal highs

    THE PRESIDENT of the Association of Shopkeepers, Andreas Theodoulou, yesterday called on kiosk owners to withdraw of their own accord any stocks of so-called legal highs, which were banned by an executive order of the cabinet on Thursday.

    “I believe that of our own accord we should withdraw these items. Of course, they were not being sold at all kiosks but only at a few isolated ones,” he said.

    On Thursday the Cabinet banned 17 substances and synthetic compounds used as constituent ingredients in cannabis substitutes sold in kiosks across Cyprus.

    Until the enforcement decision is taken in the matter by the relevant government authorities, which has not yet occurred, Theodoulou called on shopkeepers to remove the dangerous substances from their shelves on their own initiative so as to help the efforts of the Health Minister and protect the island’s youth.

    “We did not know what these substances were, nor what their use was and for this reason I believe that some kiosks were selling them without realising to what use the consumer would put them,” said Theodoulou.

    February 06, 2010
    By Jimmy Mavroudis

  4. Alfa
    Does anyone have the full list of the 17 banned substances?
  5. Syphr
    Exactly what I wanted to know. All I am seeing is JWH-018 and Salvia being banned.....been searching for 20 minutes and all I can find are old articles about BZP, GBL, etc.
  6. Alfa
    I expect that mephedrone, MDPV, Ethcathinone, 3FMC, various cannabinoids are included. It would be nice to get the facts somewhere.
  7. Scooby
    my piranha says that not many people know what mephedrone is in Cyprus...but then again a friend of a friend ordered a couple of legal bodybuilding supplements from the US and they didn't go through customs because they had to go through inspection...
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