1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.

Is it time to hold peace talks with internet suppliers of ‘legal highs’?

  1. source
    View attachment 29396 The Law’s cyber drug war. Is it time to hold peace talks with internet suppliers of ‘legal highs’? Like alcohol, can these chemicals not be taken in the right way, at the right dose?

    Most people over 25 might be forgiven for not knowing what ‘Meow Meow’, Spice and Kratom are.

    They’re three of hundreds of known ‘psychoactive substances’, or highs, available for consumption. Meow Meow is one brand of a synthetic stimulant drug formally known as mephedrone. Spice, a brand of synthetic cannabinoids. Kratom, a naturally growing hallucinogenic plant found in Southeast Asia, which no one seems to be worrying too much about in the tabloids.

    What these three and many other drugs have in common is that your 15-year-old son or daughter could acquire them online with a few clicks on their iPhone. Within days a small package could be sent from China, pass through the UK Border Forces’ grasps and reach your child for their Friday night.

    Whilst the Misuse of Drugs Act has curtailed use of both mephedrone and many synthetic cannabinoids, it appears that this motivates internet suppliers to research, develop and market any number of other uncontrolled alternative psychoactive substances instead.

    Bearing in mind the hundreds-strong pool of substitutes, there’s ample wriggle room.

    This challenge has not been ignored by regulatory government bodies.

    A Temporary Drug Control Order was issued over next-big-thing ‘Mexxy’ , in a radical new step for the Home Office. For 12 months only - while its harms were estimated by the Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs - suppliers could face criminal prosecution.

    Before those 12 months elapsed, the Home Office announced that Mexxy will undoubtedly join mephedrone as a banned substance.

    But this doesn’t physically prevent your child from taking Mexxy, or the legal high marketed in its place, with the same minimal knowledge about what it really is and what it really does.

    They just might be arrested for it.

    Indeed since the prototypical Meow Meow was ‘banned proper’ subject to the Misuse of Drugs Act, it has been consumers, not suppliers, who have met with the full force of deterrence from criminal conviction.

    Whether or not the ban on these new drugs deters much people from using them is also unclear. The Home Office annual drug strategy review this year claimed great success in curtailing mephedrone. But other research demonstrates that clubbers in South London are still enjoying it, and in great quantities.

    So if a significant proportion of use cannot be deterred and a ban simply drives supply of yet more drugs, what can we do?

    It might be sensible to convict people who sell poisons that will kill or maim, but what if some of these hundreds of compounds do not harm if taken in the right dose, right place and right way? Can we not drink sensibly? Can we not take a potentially toxic prescribed medicine that helps us to recover, if taken in the right way?

    Perhaps talking with the suppliers and getting them to describe what they are selling accurately and in detail could protect us more than bans. Perhaps if they were allowed out of hiding then suppliers would prefer to sell the drugs that don’t kill their customers or send them insane. Is this blue skied idealism? Would it risk increasing access and thus increasing use of harmful drugs?

    As things stand, access is rapid and a minority are already getting harmed. If a supplier is driven underground surely their main focus is on not being arrested rather than protecting their consumers. It is no surprise that many of these legal high brands contain different chemicals in them from week to week. What motivation is there for their supplier to maintain quality, consistency and basic safety standards?

    Dr Jonathan Hurlow is a psychiatrist based in North London and researcher for the All Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform. He is co-producing the Battle Satellite The law’s drug problem: the challenge of legal highs at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London on November 15.

    Dr Jonathan Hurlow, The Independent, Thursday 1st November 2012



  1. mccthyjhn
    My son john has just started smoking legal highs things like red seal and devils weed and he seems alright to me he buys it from head shops he used to take herion and crack for many years i think legal highs are more safe than buying from some street dealer whose cut it up with god knows what,they banned most forms of legal highs in ireland which is where we live but he still goes to the head shop and gets red seal and devils weed now if i remember right red seal was a type of solid with red cling film on it and we used to call it squidgy black cos it was so soft but this stuff is pure weed some how the shops must get round the law on what they sell to people ive heard a lot of the head shops are the people that grow cannabis anyway well what with all those seeds im not surprised,is smoking red seal and devils weed like getting high on cannabis id like to know thanks
  2. una_cavaletta
    wait - kratom a hallucinogen? I am by far an expert in kratom though it did help me with alcohol cravings and anxiety. But a hallucinogen? *confused*
  3. Alfa
    Its not clear what each branded product contains and they may switch ingredients at any time. Most smoke blends contain synthetic cannabinoids, which have similar effects to cannabis.
  4. nitehowler
    Ide rather my children smoked home grown cannabis or took known substances that are proven to be less harmful than alcohol. I would rather my kids take pure MDMA over drinking binges and sometimes dangerous street substitutes of unknown untested pills.

    If the government listened to its qualified advisers drugs could be available that would not kill our kids.
    Its a burden on our families and a political mess.
  5. source
    "Formerly known as mephedrone?" they really should do their research and learn about these drugs before going to print with statements like this. It's like stating 'Mexxy' was formerly known as Methoxetamine. Absurd.

    Doesn't surprise me that they have classed Kratom as a hallucinogenic in this article, judging by the quote above. I have never experienced hallucinations when using Kratom; for its a stimulant type in small doses and more like a downer/opiate effect in larger doses.

    The overall point of the article is good though and they have a very valid point about people drinking alcohol in comparison with experimenting on new research chemicals.
    And they are also quite right when they state that the purity of these particular substances is rather hit and miss once the substance has been banned.
  6. nitehowler
    Thanks Source for your above posts ...Tried to give you positive feedback but told to spread it around.

    Why would idiotic policies come into effect adding laws to an already failed war on drugs?

    Evidence shows use increases when a substance is made illegal and harmful substitutes always follow.
  7. nigh
    Source, it actually says "formally," not "formerly." And I donno about this, but I'm not very familiar with the UK's political climate. Doing something like this in the U.S. would almost certainly be political suicide with the current media coverage of research chemicals and their subsequent demonization in the public eye.
  8. source
    Oh yeah, we'll done for pointing that out, doh! Late night posts - never a good idea lol
  9. C11H15
    there has been a lot of differing comments on kratom, however i presumed it was an opioid while in-vitro in the brain, but i have seen (un-certified sources) that it is infact a stimulant?
  10. source
    In small doses it acts more like a stimulant, yes. But then I have only used two strains so maybe someone with more kratom experience can back that up?
  11. Doctor Who
    > Kratom has a very mild stimulant effect, if you wake-up and take a small amount you can't usually fall back asleep, but the effect seems no more than drinking a cup of coffee or good English breakfast tea.

    > It is really more an opiate type substance, since it blocks withdrawal symptoms.

    > Calling it a "hallucinogen" is complete dis-information! And why would it be classed with re-search chemicals, since it is a natural plant?
  12. ianzombie
    Kratom stimulation will depend on the type used and what dose is used.

    Kratom does not 'block' withdrawal symptoms. Some people find it can help to reduce them, butit does not block them.
  13. ianzombie
    There is a whole forum dedicated to Kratom, full of good information, you should get reading.
  14. fractalissue
    kratom has more of a benzo effect. plenty of swim's acquaintances have used this as an aid lessen the effects of of heroin withdraw. it doesn't really do much for me until you get into really high doses recreationally but swim has seen it do wonders for those in need. But swim isn't much of a downer enthusiast. the point being it is certainly not hallucinogenic
  15. radiometer
    Might it be possible for this discussion to revert back to the topic at hand? Thanks!
  16. MikePatton
    Syntethic Cannabinoids are NOT AT ALL like cannabis. Cannabis contains THC and over 70 different perfectly put together compounds that help balance the effects of THC on the brain, among many other things.

    Legal Highs ("Incense") contains one or more syntethic cannabinoids which are usually much stronger than THC but does not contain any of those protective compunds mentioned above.

    It is, however, far better than crack or heroin, but still shouldn't be considered harmless at all.
  17. mccthyjhn
    Thanks for the replies,and now i understand more on the uses of synthetic cannaboids thanks for the input it helped.
  18. mccthyjhn
    I think these head shops will always have a way round the laws when it comes to selling legal highs as they can magic up all sorts of potions nowadays thats all they do anyway head shops is get round drug laws,i live in ireland and they have a cause REPUBLICANS AGAINST DRUGS and they are a law unto there own they have a kangaroo court which judges drug dealers with the gun.They come from a armed faction type guerilla campaign that was started during the troubles back in the seventies,anyone heard of them they go round drug dealers houses and cause them trouble until they stop drug dealing sometimes dishing out sentences of death.
  19. MikePatton
    I think as long as prohibition exists, legal highs will exist as well. I also think countries with hard drug laws are more likely to have a blooming legal high industry.

    Some streets around here have like 50 legal high shops on the same fucking street and I'm convinced it is because of those fucking harsh marijuana laws... And because everyone age 18-21 is in the army and might be piss tested they all smoke Spice instead of hash.

    The most ironic thing is that everytime someone mentions Cannabis here politicians are always talking about "The children!!! what would become of our children if we legalized it?!?!" BUT those Headshops never ask for an ID, and kids are able to LEGALLY buy a much more harmful substance.
  20. albeit
    I'm not sure what 'Head-shops' your son could be using as it is illegal to sell ANY substance with the INTENT of using it as a psychoactive in Ireland. Nonetheless he is obtaining these smokes somewhere and I do not want to add to your worries unduly as there may be nothing you can do about the situation, but he is playing with fire if he has a previous history of addiction. There is a grimly well worn path of people trying to use other drugs safely and ending up back with their 'drug of choice'. I wish him and you well.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!