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Home Secretary bans mephedrone

By hX_, Mar 29, 2010 | Updated: Mar 29, 2010 | | |
Rating:
5/5,
  1. hX_
    Home Secretary bans mephedrone

    In addition, the government is taking immediate action to control mephedrone's availability and reduce its harm by:

    * banning importations - with immediate effect the UK Border Agency will be able to seize and destroy shipments of mephedrone at the border;
    * targeting head shops - the Home Secretary has written to local authorities urging them to use powers under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and medicines legislation to seize mephedrone;
    * informing young people - the FRANK campaign and website will distribute a new 'fact card' on mephedrone warning users of the forthcoming ban and that cathinones, the group of chemicals it belongs to, are dangerous;
    * warning suppliers - police forces and other agencies will be contacting head shops and other premises warning them of the ban and making it clear enforcement action will follow; and
    * issuing health warnings - issuing a health alert through the public health warning system to ensure that all frontline hospital and medical staff have the most up to date information about the harms of mephedrone.

    Home Secretary Alan Johnson said:

    "I am determined to act swiftly on the ACMD's advice and will now seek cross-party support to ban mephedrone and its related compounds as soon as possible.

    "I am also taking immediate action to limit supply by banning the importation of mephedrone; sending a clear warning to suppliers about their responsibilities; and using the Government's successful Frank campaign to warn young people about its dangers.

    "Mephedrone and its related substances have been shown to be dangerous and harmful, but it is right we waited for full scientific advice so we can take action that stops organised criminals and dealers tweaking substances to get around the law."

    Legislation will now follow at the earliest opportunity with a Parliamentary order laid tomorrow. It is hoped with Parliament's agreement the ban will come into effect within weeks.

    The move comes after advice from the chair of the ACMD that mephedrone and the family of cathinone derivatives are dangerous drugs and should be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 as Class B. The ACMD expressed concern about the harms it can have on the health and well being of users. They cited evidence that mephedrone consumption can cause hallucinations, blood circulation problems, rashes, anxiety, paranoia, fits and delusions.

    Chair of the ACMD Professor Les Iversen said:

    "Today, the ACMD has made a series of recommendations to the Home Secretary to control a range of cathinone derivatives, including mephedrone, under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 as Class B drugs.

    "The advice we have provided to government is generic legislation encompassing a wide range of cathinone derivatives. This is, as far as we are aware, a world-first for the cathinones. By proposing this chemically complex legislation - we expect that our drug laws will be more robust and more difficult for chemists to develop new substances to flout the law.

    "Our formal Report will be published in the next few days. However, we hope that the advice we give today will assist the Home Secretary to take such actions as he sees fit."

    Legislation will now follow at the earliest opportunity with a Parliamentary order laid tomorrow. It is hoped with Parliament's agreement the ban will come into effect within weeks.

    Following advice from the ACMD on harms the UK Border Agency will be able to seize and destroy mephedrone and related compounds at the border. This will be achieved by banning them from import by removing these substances from the Open General Import Licence (OGIL).

    Mephedrone is currently sold labelled as 'plant food' or as 'bath salts' in an attempt to bypass the medicines laws. Following ACMD confirmation that mephedrone has no use as a fertiliser or bath salts, local trades description teams have been urged to seize mephedrone sold in this way. They will also use medicines legislation to seize samples labelled for 'human consumption'.

    Police forces and other agencies will also contact shops known to stock mephedrone warning them of the government's intention to ban it. Such warning ahead of previous bans on so-called 'legal highs' have seen retailers less willing to stock these substances. Letters from forces will also make it clear the police will take action against those found to have stockpiled mephedrone ahead of a ban.

    The former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith asked the ACMD to carry out a programme of work looking into legal highs based on prevalence and harm in March last year. As a result the ACMD provided advice on synthetic cannabionids, these substances were subsequently banned in December 2009 together with GBL and BZP.

    NOTES TO EDITORS

    1. For more information on the ACMD visit: http://drugs.homeoffice.gov.uk/drugs-laws/acmd/index.html

    2. The ban on imports will include all the chemicals listed below and any products containing these chemicals:

    * 4-Methylmethcathinone (mephedrone);
    * 4-Methoxymethcathinone (bk-PMMA/ methedrone);
    * 3-Fluoromethcathinone;
    * 2-Methylamino-1-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)propan-1-one (bk-MDMA/methylone); and
    * 2-Methylamino-1-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)butan-1-one (bk-MBDB/butylone).

    3. The legislation will include generic compounds to prevent suppliers switching to new versions of the substance.

    4. The Frank website and 24 hour helpline provides information and advice on a range of drugs and legal highs, including mephedrone. It can be found at: www.talktofrank.com


    http://www.articleant.com/p/gov/68499-home-secretary-bans-mephedrone.html

Comments

  1. Finn Mac Cool
  2. BoyInTheCountry
    So there are no signs of MDPV and Naphyrone being banned which seem to be much more dangerous substances?

    Do we know if they will be banned when the proper ban comes into place or have they just missed them from the importation ban for some reason?
  3. Terrapinzflyer
    Am I reading this correctly as a blanket ban on analogs? Am I correct that this would cover substances such as mdpv and 4-fmc (flephedrone) even though they aren't spelled out?

    No real surprises here - but a damn shame so much is being dragged down with mephedrone.
  4. fusen
    yeah, seems they want an equivalent of the US analog act
  5. Finn Mac Cool
    Not sure but in a BBC article it mentions this.....


    and other synthetic so-called "legal highs"

    cathinones - the group of drugs into which mephedrone falls
  6. Finn Mac Cool
    Mephedrone to be made Class B drug 'within weeks'

    Alan Johnson: "I am seeking cross-party support to swiftly ban these dangerous drugs from our streets"

    Home Secretary Alan Johnson is to ban mephedrone and other synthetic so-called "legal highs" within weeks.

    It comes after the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs recommended they be classified as a Class B drugs.

    Class B drugs, which include cannabis and amphetamine sulphate, carry a maximum sentence of five years for possession or 14 years for supply.

    There has been recent pressure to ban mephedrone, linked in media reports to at least four deaths in the UK.

    Mr Johnson said he would be introducing legislation in Parliament on Tuesday and hoped to get cross-party support.

    MEPHEDRONE FACTS
    Effects similar to amphetamines and ecstasy
    Sold as a white powder, capsules and pills or can be dissolved in liquid
    Often sold online as plant food marked "not for human consumption"
    Completely different to methadone, used to treat heroin addicts
    Reported side effects include headaches, palpitations, nausea, cold or blue fingers
    Long-term effect unknown
    Currently legal to buy and be in possession of the powder, but against the law to sell, supply or advertise the powder for human consumption
    Already illegal in Israel, Denmark, Norway and Sweden

    Drugs: The facts

    He added the importation of mephedrone and the chemical compounds associated with it have been banned with immediate effect and the UK Border Agency instructed to seize any shipments.

    Mr Johnson said: "As a result of the council's swift advice, I am introducing legislation to ban not just mephedrone and other cathinones but also to enshrine in law a generic definition so that, as with synthetic cannabinoids, we can be in the forefront of dealing with this whole family of drugs.

    "This will stop unscrupulous manufacturers and others peddling different but similarly harmful drugs."

    The Association of Chief Police Officers lead on drugs Chief Constable Tim Hollis said the home secretary's announcement "sends out a clear message to young people that this is a dangerous and harmful drug and should not be taken".

    He added: "It will also serve to suppress sales and provide police with enforcement powers that will allow us to target those dealing in this drug."

    BANNING PROCESS
    Home secretary announces intention to ban mephedrone
    Parliamentary business committees informed
    Proposal laid in Parliament
    Debate and vote in each House
    Approval by Privy Council
    Source: Home Office

    The Conservatives welcomed the move but said it would "go further" by introducing a temporary ban classification to tackle other similar "legal highs" that may come on to the market.

    Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: "This is clearly the right step to take regarding mephedrone but we should not be complacent."

    Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said the action could have come earlier had the home secretary not decided to sack the former ACMD chief adviser in a row over the effects of cannabis.

    "His intervention sparked a number of resignations from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and left the government scrabbling around for independent advice," he said.

    Harry Shapiro from the charity DrugScope said: "As it appears that there is a lot of mephedrone in circulation, users and dealers will probably use up their existing supplies over the coming months...

    "Legislation has a role, but primarily the focus should be on prevention, education and tackling drug use as a public health issue."

    Resignation letter

    Mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant, is known by various names, including "m-cat", and "meow meow".

    Dr Polly Taylor
    There is little more we can do to describe the importance of ensuring that advice is not subjected to a desire to please ministers
    Dr Polly Taylor

    Adviser's full resignation letter
    Read Mark Easton's blog
    What is mephedrone?

    So far there is no conclusive scientific proof that mephedrone has been responsible for any deaths in the UK, and scientists are still trying to work out whether it is harmful on its own or if taken with something else.

    But there have been at least 18 deaths in England where cathinones - the group of drugs into which mephedrone falls - have been implicated, an ACMD meeting on Friday revealed.

    Seven provided post mortem evidence of mephedrone, and a further seven deaths in Scotland have been linked to the drugs.

    There had been speculation the 11th-hour resignation of Dr Polly Taylor from the ACMD could delay a ban because of rules about its membership.

    Lib Dem science spokesman Dr Evan Harris said a ban would have to wait until the council was "legally constituted" under the terms set out in the the Misuse of Drugs Act.

    The law says any move to ban a drug must follow consultation with the ACMD.

    But a spokesman from the Home Office said: "Based on its current formation the ACMD is still able to fulfil its statutory role and provide advice on mephedrone today on which we can act."

    The interim chair of the ACMD, Professor Les Iversen, said the ACMD was "saddened and disappointed" that Dr Taylor - the council's veterinary medicine expert - had resigned.

    Dr Taylor said she "did not have trust" in the way the government would treat the council's advice.

    In her resignation letter, Dr Taylor told the home secretary: "I feel that there is little more we can do to describe the importance of ensuring that advice is not subjected to a desire to please ministers or the mood of the day's press."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8592103.stm
  7. Burgersoft777
    Ah well such is the state of politics in the UK that yet again the press gets it way.
  8. Sippin40oz
    Iam really getting fed up with the UK goverment banning drugs because they might be dangerous. Where is the scientific proof that these drugs are killing people? Its shameful that a couple deaths with a small link to mephedrone have cause so much unfounded hysteria!

    And surely banning all cathinone derivatives goes against the Misuse of Drugs Act? Isnt it policy to undertake a full study of each chemical to see if its dangerous before adding it to the banned list?! The misuse of drugs act is supposed to protect the public from dangerous chemicals not to be used as an election tool!

    And as for Alan Johnson... what a fucking cunt! :mad:
  9. fanyovsky
    Seems to me that Alan is actually breaking the law. The ACMD's advice is not legally valid without Dr. Taylor (the Vet), who resigned yesterday.

    Are Office Secretaries allowed to break the law in the UK?

    Consider also, that banning all cathinones will make ritalin (for ADHD) and zyban (anti nicotine craving) class B...
  10. Terrapinzflyer
    Mephedrone could be banned by 16 April, says minister
    Mephedrone could be banned by 16 April, Home Office minister David Hanson has told Parliament.

    Mr Hanson said Home Secretary Alan Johnson had laid a draft order before Parliament to approve the ban on mephedrone and similar derivatives.

    It comes after the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) recommended they be classified as Class B drugs.

    There has been recent pressure to ban mephedrone, linked in media reports to at least four deaths in the UK.

    Class B drugs, which include cannabis and amphetamine sulphate, carry a maximum sentence of five years for possession or 14 years for supply.

    'Rashes, anxiety, paranoia'
    Mr Hanson said the ACMD's chairman Prof Les Iversen had made clear "the harms that these drugs undertake justify control" under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

    "The harms associated with these drugs include hallucinations, blood circulation problems, rashes, anxiety, paranoia, fits and delusions and have been linked to a number of deaths.

    "Given the risk to public health there is strong cross-party support for getting these measures through Parliament and we hope the draft order can come into effect as soon as possible on 16 April, 2010."

    Mr Hanson faced questions from Liberal Democrat science spokesman Dr Evan Harris, who asked why the ACMD advice had not been made public.

    Dr Harris said: "If the ACMD has advised that mephedrone and other cathinones be regulated as a class B drug then I would support that recommendation."

    But he added: "If the home secretary received a verbal report yesterday from the chair, why wasn't that verbal report available to the media - since the public have a right to know, and indeed to members of this House - at the time the home secretary got it?"

    Dr Harris said the work of the ACMD had "undoubtedly" been delayed by the resignations of members in protest at the sacking of the council's former head Prof David Nutt.

    'Meddling'
    Shadow home office minister James Brokenshire welcomed the proposed ban.
    He said: "The tragic cases of those who are thought to have died as a consequence of taking mephedrone have highlighted the dangers of this drug."

    Liberal Democrat spokesman Chris Huhne also welcomed the proposed ban but said it had taken too long to achieve.

    The ACMD started looking at the drug a year ago, he told MPs, and it could have been banned "months ago" without the home secretary's "meddling" which led to resignations - including of Dr Les King who was heading the assessment of mephedrone.

    Tuesday, 30 March 2010 20:22 UK

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8595842.stm
  11. Seaquake
    I've been trying to find a copy online of the draft SI and I can't find it anywhere.
  12. windows78
    ^^^ yep no proper info anywhere?? keen to find out what they mean by related substances and what will be banned and what won't!!
  13. Seaquake
    no sign of the SI but the acmd's report is here

    basically any of the ones you would normally find plus any possible future ones. naphyrone is currently not covered but is mentioned that it'll be dealt with soon.
  14. 10outof10
    Yes, it is confusing. The same was done with piperazines when they were banned in 2009. It stated BZP and related piperazines on the home office page. The link shadow chaser has posted makes for interesting reading. It does seem to cover all the others about. Will be interesting to see when/if the other derivatives make an actual ban. SWIM would love to see the reasoning why all should fit into the same classification. Surely some of the substances may have more harm attached to them than others and even then the evidence is questionable as poly drug use appears to be the probable cause of fatality in the alleged mephedrone deaths...
  15. 10outof10
    Interesting response news piece done following the announcement of ban on Scottish TV news at six. There are calls in Scotland against such a move by various campaigners. Can be viewed via streaming at this link:

    http://video.stv.tv/bc/stv-news-at-six-west-20100329/
  16. Sven99
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