A DEALER in a controversial new party drug linked to the death of a schoolgirl is today exposed by the Sunday Mail.
Chris Dawson hands £50 bags of deadly mephedrone from the front seat of his Range Rover and promises desperate buyers they "won't be disappointed".
Unlike other drug dealers, Dawson has no fear of prosecution - as his trade in the crystal white powder is legal.
Pushers hide behind the recreational drug's dual status as a plant fertiliser, which means they can't be prosecuted for selling it.
That's despite a ban in several countries across Europe and the club drug being linked to the death of 14-year-old Gabrielle Price in Brighton earlier this month.
Paramedics treated her for a heart attack at a party before rushing her to the hospital. She died just hours later.
Warnings about the drug - also known as stardust, meow meow and bubbles - have been issued by police in Tayside after six users suffered non-fatal overdoses.
Dawson, of Livingston, advertises mephedrone on classified ads website Gumtree.
He charges £50 for three grams and boasts that he can supply 50 grams for £400.
His ad says: "We offer a discreet collection service so you don't have to take ANY chances. Delivery direct to your door is available in the Lothian area. Cash on delivery.
"Why take chances on other suppliers when we can offer you peace of mind? Our mephedrone is 99.8 per cent."
Posing as a customer, the Sunday Mail made contact with Dawson on a mobile number posted on the website and asked for three grams.
An hour later, he turned up in a car park in his home town in the £50,000 Range Rover which was being driven by a crony.
Dawson, sitting in the passenger seat, handed our man a small plastic bag which contained the white crystallised powder.
When asked about the strength of the drug, Dawson said: "Take that and see how you go.
"But you won't be disappointed. If you like it, you can give me a phone and arrange to get some more."
Dawson then grinned at our reporter before saying with a wink: "Now remember - it's for your plants."
The Home Office is considering banning mephedrone but in the meantime, dealers like Dawson can keep raking it in.
Politicians are waiting for the results of a probe by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs before deciding whether to act.
Drug takers across Scotland have been experimenting with the chemical, which arrived in this country last summer. It has been banned in Norway, Finland, Sweden and Israel after it was blamed for a string of deaths there.
The drug is a stimulant which scientists have described as "two molecular tweaks" away from pure ecstasy and provides the same euphoric high.
The parents of Luke Cowan, 17, of the Isle of Wight, said the drug drove their boy to suicide in September.
A source said: "A lot of guys are making serious money while mephedrone is still legal.
"They're thinking it's crazy to take the chance trying to punt illegal drugs while this stuffis legal and supposedly gives people the same high.
"It's getting more popular by the week and it's cheaper than the illegal drugs.
"That'll probably change when the Government eventually ban it but until they do mephedrone is easy money."
When our reporter contacted Dawson about his activities, he said: "You've got the wrong guy. I don't know what mephedrone is."
DOCTORS FEAR WIDESPREAD ABUSE
Psychiatrists in Scotland have seen a rise in the number of problems caused by mephedrone.
Dr Brian Kidd, senior lecturer in addiction psychiatry at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, said: "Over the past few months there has been increasing concern among drug services and the police that this drug is beginning to appear.
"Like cocaine or amphetamines, it is a powerful stimulant. The problem this drug raises is that it is cheaper and more available because of its legal status."
The Home Office said: "The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs are looking into it as part of their review into legal highs."
The Scottish Drugs Forum said: "Making it illegal to possess or supply mephedrone as a party drug may highlight to people that using legal highs can be risky."
December 13, 2009