CALLOUS dealers in Paisley are buying up large quantities of danger drug mephedrone at bargain prices before a UK-wide ban takes effect.
Legit traders in the so-called ‘party drug’ – which has hit the headlines due to its links to the deaths of several young revellers – are currently trying to get rid of their stock while it is still legal.
And dodgy dealers have been happy to buy it up in large amounts to sell on the black market at a later date.
The sale of mephedrone – also known as ‘Miaow Miaow’ – and other ‘legal highs’ has led to concerns being raised by parents, police and politicians alike.
It will become an illegal substance from tomorrow onwards as a result of new legislation being introduced.
However, the Paisley Daily Express has learned that a number of dealers are taking advantage of the cut-price offers on numerous websites which sell mephedrone to stock up before the ban comes into force.
One source revealed: “There are drug dealers in Paisley who are buying up as much Miaow Miaow as they can get their hands on before the ban comes in because it will then be more difficult for users to buy it.
“Once the drug is illegal, people will find it much harder to get hold of it online and the dodgy dealers are hoping that will mean there is greater demand for the supplies they have built up.
“Some of these websites are slashing prices of Miaow Miaow by up to 50 per cent ahead of the ban and it has triggered a gold rush.”
Mephedrone is a stimulant which is closely chemically related to amphetamines and users say it gives them a high similar to ecstasy or cocaine.
It usually comes in powder form, although it can also come in capsules and tablets, and is either snorted or swallowed in wraps of paper dubbed ‘bombs’.
Popularity of the drug has grown in recent times as it has been freely available at music festivals and on many online sites.
One such website visited by the Express was this week offering more than 500 grams of the substance for as little as £1,200 – while a single gram on the streets has been costing up to £40.
Superintendent Jim Baird, of Paisley Police, said there are increasing concerns about the potential harm and risks associated with mephedrone.
He added: “This so-called legal high is a stimulant with effects similar to amphetamines and it has already been linked to a number of deaths.
“Retailers should take note of the changes in legislation that will bring the UK into line with other countries where it is already illegal.
“Strathclyde Police will be enforcing the legislation in order to protect our citizens from this potentially harmful drug.”
Experts at the Scottish Drugs Forum say they are not surprised to learn that dealers in Paisley have been snapping up large quantities of mephedrone ahead of tomorrow’s ban.
A spokeswoman told the Express: “This was the experience in Jersey when mephedrone was banned there. The price of a gram increased from around £10 to around £60.
“Obviously, the hope is that the availability and use of the drug will decline over time but a sizeable market has been created for mephedrone and it is very hard to predict what dent there will be in demand once the legal status is changed.”
by Cameron Hay
April 15, 2010
Paisley Daily Express