DOUGLAS North MHK John Houghton is to ask the House of Keys to support a Private Member's Bill to effectively criminalise so-called 'legal highs'.
Health Minister Eddie Teare MHK announced before Christmas that he was intending to bring forward legislation to deal with the escalating problem of mephedrone abuse – and reviewing ways to make it quicker to criminalise other substances.
But this move has not moved forward quickly enough for Mr Houghton, who has tabled a motion for debate at the first sitting of the Keys on January 26, seeking leave to introduce a bill which will allow for mephedrone to be criminalised.
He wants future legal highs to be outlawed by the system of secondary legislation in Tynwald which would add to the controlled substances banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Mr Houghton's move follows a series of parliamentary questions he has recently put to Home Affairs Minister Adrian Earnshaw MHK asking for urgent action to address what he describes as 'this serious matter'.
He said: 'There is a growing number of children and young people taking mephedrone, which is a plant food and dubbed as a 'legal high', and which is having a harmful effect on those foolish enough to be dabbling with it.
'I want to move as quickly as possible to criminalise this substance, whilst forming the legislation in such a way as to enable other substances which could be outlawed in future in a matter of weeks.
'A new substance called Butylone has already arrived on the street in the UK and it won't be long before it is sold in the Island.'
By ADRIAN DARBYSHIRE
January 21, 2010