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  1. chillinwill
    * New designer drug being bought online
    * Is legal in Britain - the main exporter
    * "Will destroy the Sydney cocaine market"


    STUDENTS and clubbers are buying a new designer drug billed as "a cross between cocaine and ecstasy" over the internet.

    Drug experts are alarmed by the emergence of mystery drug Mephedrone - known on the street as MM-Cat, Plant Food, Meow and 4-MMC.

    And they fear its use could spiral as students celebrate the end of exams and the beginning of schoolies week.

    The latest "legal high" is being pushed on social networking sites such as Facebook.

    NSW Police say they are "aware of mephedrone" but play down its spread. While users and experts, including the federal health department, are divided over its legality, police insist it is a derivative of methcathinone, and therefore prohibited.

    The drug, which comes in both powder and pill form, has been officially banned in Norway, Finland, Denmark, Israel and Sweden, but is legal in Britain - the main exporter of the drug.

    "This is the drug that will destroy the Sydney cocaine market," one user told The Sunday Telegraph on condition of anonymity.

    "People are trying to buy up big, organising bulk shipments from China and the UK because it's only a matter of time before they ban the stuff."

    Sydney drug and alcohol researcher Paul Dillon said he was "blown away" by the number of chat room forums sharing experiences of MM-Cat users.

    "I have to say that I have never, ever seen such a positive buzz about a drug on the internet - and I mean in my whole career," Mr Dillon said.

    "That worries me because here's a drug that is legal and here's a drug that really works. It's not like herbal ecstasy where users take it and find it's nothing like the real thing.

    "The problem is that we know so little about this drug that we don't know what it does to you. Users should absolutely consider themselves guinea pigs."

    Derived from the khat plant, MM-Cat can be bought in quantities ranging from 1g ($15) to 1000g (about $6300) from more than 40 international websites, mainly based in the UK. A UK website called Research Chemicals boasts "Mephedrone is our number-one selling plant food."

    There are dozens of ads tagged "urgent" placed by Australians desperately searching for suppliers who will send bulk shipments of MM-Cat into the country.

    Recently, however, a number of sites have posted notices saying they will no longer ship to Australia. This follows a seizure by Queensland Police of a stash of MM-Cat pills from the car of a suspected dealer in Cairns.

    It is the only known seizure of the drug in this country but police have yet to press charges against two people arrested because of the grey legal area that surrounds the drug. Local users said they could continue to import the drug by having it forwarded to them by friends who bought it legally in London.

    "Dealers often advertise this drug as being like ecstasy but its properties are much more similar to cocaine and amphetamines," said Professor Iain McGregor, director of Sydney University's Psychopharmacology Laboratory. "Users get feelings of euphoria, it's dancey, it's happy, a bit trippy.

    "Unfortunately for people like myself and Paul (Dillon), who are here to tell people drugs are bad, there doesn't appear to be a whole lot that is bad about it.

    November 15, 2009
    The Sunday Telegraph
    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,26352004-36398,00.html

Comments

  1. chillinwill
    Aussies buying up new designer drug

    A new drug billed as a mix between cocaine and ecstasy is being sold to Australians online, despite health authorities warning "human guinea pigs" to stay away because its long-term effects are not yet known.

    The substance mephedrone is known in drug circles as MM-Cat, Plant Food Meow and 4-MMC and is being pedalled through websites like Facebook, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

    But authorities are believed to be powerless to stop anyone buying it or importing it into Australia because its legal status has not yet been defined.

    NSW Police told the Sunday Telegraph they were aware of mephedrone and said it was illegal because it is a derivative of the prohibited drug methacathinone.

    Mephedrone — banned in Findland, Israel, Sweden and Denmark — comes in powder or pill form and is derived from the khat plant.

    One milligram of the drug can be bought for as little as $15 while 1kg costs up to $6300. It can be purchased through websites based in the UK, where the drug is legal.

    Queensland Police recently seized pills containing the drug from a car in Cairns. The Sunday Telegraph reports that it is the only known seizure of the drug in Australia.

    Police are yet to press charges against the two people who were arrested because of the "grey legal area that surrounds the drug", the paper said.

    Professor Iain McGregor, director of Sydney University's Psychopharmacology Laboratory, was quoted as saying that there was nothing wrong with the drug.

    "Unfortunately for people like myself ... who [is] here to tell people drugs are bad, there doesn't appear to be a whole lot that is bad about it," Professor McGregor said

    November 15, 2009
    Nine MSN
    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/health/971398/aussies-buying-up-new-designer-drug
  2. chillinwill
    Designer drug billed as ” cross between cocaine and ecstasy” hit online

    A new drug called Mephedrone or MM-Cat, which is said to be “a cross between cocaine and ecstasy,” is being sold through the web, it has emerged.

    The authorities fighting narcotics are stressed that the use of the drug, being promoted through communities and groups on social networking sites like Facebook, can rapidly spread among students.

    NSW Police has said that they are “aware of mephedrone” and are trying to curb its use, insisting that it is a derivative of methcathinone.

    However, there is difference of opinion over its legality among users and experts, including the federal health department.

    The drug is officially banned in Norway, Finland, Denmark, Israel and Sweden.

    But in Britain, which is the main exporter of the drug, it is still legal.

    “Dealers often advertise this drug as being like ecstasy but its properties are much more similar to cocaine and amphetamines,” News.com.au quoted Professor Iain McGregor, director of Sydney University’s Psychopharmacology Laboratory, as saying.

    He added: “Users get feelings of euphoria, it’s dancey, it’s happy, a bit trippy.

    “Unfortunately for people like myself who are here to tell people drugs are bad, there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot that is bad about it.”

    The drug derived from the khat plant is priced at 6300 dollars for 1000g and is available at 40 different international websites, most of which are based in the UK. (ANI)

    November 15, 2009
    Thaindian News
    http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal...cocaine-and-ecstasy-hit-online_100275069.html
  3. Tamis
    We all know how this is going to end....
  4. Terrapinzflyer
    We'll act on mephedrone, say cops

    We'll act on drug, say cops

    POLICE have warned that people found in possession of a new designer drug that can be ordered on the internet can -- and will -- be charged.

    Mephedrone is said to be a cross between cocaine and ecstasy and two people alleged to have been found with a large quantity of it in Cairns have now been charged.

    Gold Coast Superintendent Jim Keogh warned yesterday that although the drug was not classified, people could still be charged with possessing it.

    "It is a synthetic-based drug modelled on ecstasy," he said.

    "Proceedings have commenced (in Cairns) under the provisions of the Drugs Misuse Act

    "The Drugs Misuse Act allows for proceedings to be commenced on a drug that is based on a synthetics formula similar to that of a dangerous drug."

    Supt Keogh said although the drug has not been found on the Gold Coast as yet, he was still concerned about drug use in the lead up to Schoolies.

    "It's important to remember illegal designer drugs are made and manufactured by criminals who have little care of what actually goes in to the manufacture of the drug," he said.


    Bridie Jabour | November 17th, 2009

    http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2009/11/17/159155_gold-coast-news.html
  5. chillinwill
  6. Tony Williams
    Re: We'll act on mephedrone, say cops

    Methylone/bk-MDMA is, MMCAT/Mephedrone isn't. What would a brother of a brother be charged with?
  7. chillinwill
    Schoolies urged to say no to drugs by grieving mother

    THE mother of a Gold Coast teenager who died from an ecstasy overdose has pleaded with youngsters not to experiment with drugs at Schoolies Week.

    "Please, just don't do it," Liz Vaina, mother of Blair Elizabeth Vaina, said yesterday.

    "I don't want to see it happen again. I don't want any other families to go through what we've been through. Schoolies could easily be another tragedy waiting to happen."

    Mrs Vaina made her heartfelt plea as police warned drug sniffer dogs could be unleashed at Schoolies for the first time. They also vowed to use a network of more than 50 surveillance cameras in Surfers Paradise to snare would-be drug dealers.

    Mrs Vaina's appeal also came amid reports a new internet-order designer drug craze was sweeping youth culture.

    Drug experts are alarmed by the emergence of mystery drug mephedrone – known on the street as MM-Cat, plant food, meow and 4-MMC – and billed as a cross between cocaine and ecstasy.

    The so-called "legal" drug can be bought over the internet and there are fears it could appear on the streets of Surfers Paradise during Schoolies.

    Mrs Vaina, whose daughter died in August 2007 after taking ecstasy with friends, urged schoolies to ignore peer pressure to experiment with drugs.

    "Blair had people pushing her to get high . . . the pressure can be enormous," she said.

    "But young people just have to say 'no'. Use your own mind, think, don't listen to others. It's not worth the risk."

    Mrs Vaina said she and her son Travis had researched ecstasy in detail since Blair's death and young people needed to know the facts.

    She said ecstasy could easily contain "toxic poisons" such as paramethoxamphetamine (PMA) which she believed killed her daughter. It also encouraged users to take more and more by depleting seratonin, the endorphin that helps control moods, increasing the risk of death.

    Gold Coast police Superintendent Jim Keogh said there was no evidence of mephedrone on the Gold Coast yet, but a Cairns importer had recently been charged and he conceded there was a risk the drug could find its way to southeast Queensland.

    Undercover police will roam Surfers Paradise during Schoolies looking for drug dealers and other troublemakers and Supt Keogh would not rule out bringing in drug sniffer dogs.

    He also warned a network of more than 50 surveillance cameras would be trained on potential drug dealers.

    "We'll be watching intently for anything that we perceive to be drug dealing," he said. "We will be very vigilant."

    Cary Strong, special operations co-ordinator with the Queensland Ambulance Service, said paramedics often had difficulty telling whether schoolies were affected by drugs because they were so drunk.

    By Greg Stolz
    November 17, 2009
    Courier Mail
    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,20797,26359461-3102,00.html?from=public_rss
  8. Alfa
    Re: We'll act on mephedrone, say cops

    I think the Superintendent is confused. 4-MMC (Mephedrone) is not related to MDMA (ecstasy).
  9. Vonn
    Re: We'll act on mephedrone, say cops

    Well it is Australia, the authorities seem to know very little about the Drugs that they are talking about... but Drugs are bad mmkay? What a backward nation.
  10. SuperTy
    Re: We'll act on mephedrone, say cops

    Yeah, what a backward nation indeed. I've actually been planning to get out of this heck hole and move to England for quite some time, and only tonight, I discovered 'Mephedron' is legal over there...:-/ haha


    Btw, to whoever wrote that thing next to the rating: Jeeze, sorry Mister....
  11. Phenoxide
    Where did you "discover" that? Mephedrone has been a class B controlled substance in the UK since mid-2010.
  12. ianzombie
    Probably from reading the news article here without checking to see that it was over 2 years old.
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