THE deadly dance drug mephedrone will be banned in weeks, Home Secretary Alan Johnson announced yesterday.
The legal high, which has been linked to up to 25 deaths, including that of 19-year-old Jordan Kiltie, from Ayr, will be made a class B drug. And a ban on importing it will come into force immediately.
The move was welcomed by Scottish community safety minister Fergus Ewing, who has twice written to the Home Office raising the SNP government's concerns over "legal highs".
Ewing said: "It is essential people are aware of the dangers from mephedrone and similar so-called legal highs.
"I promise to work with the UK Government to ensure the ban will be enforced across Scotland."
The announcement came after Johnson was given a report backing a ban on mephedrone from Professor Les Iversen, chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
The drug - also known as M-cat, bubbles or meow meow - is legally sold on the internet as plant food and was virtually unknown until last year.
But it is now one of the most popular drugs in nightclubs.
Its effects are similar to those of cocaine and ecstasy but users can suffer palpitations and psychosis.
Professor Iversen said the rise in mephedrone's popularity was unprecedented.
He said: "I've never experienced such widespread use in such a short space of time.
"It is being taken by people who have never used drugs before.
"They think it is legal and safe but it is neither."
By Torcuil Crichton