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Revealed: the Scottish legal high factory at the centre of a global trade

  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Revealed: the Scottish legal high factory at the centre of a global trade
    Legal party drugs, similar to the ones blamed for a spate of deaths across the UK, are being churned out in a Scottish factory in Ayrshire, a Sunday Herald investigation can reveal.

    A firm is mass manufacturing the “legal high” known as Star Dust.

    Last week 19-year-old Jordan Kiltie, from Ayr, died after taking a similar legal drug, thought to be mephedrone. Two other teenagers in Scunthorpe have also died after taking similar drugs, and a 46-year-old man in Hove collapsed last month with a heart attack apparently brought on by legal party pills as well as banned substances.

    Robert Gorton, the man behind the Ayrshire “legal high” factory, yesterday defended his company when confronted about his part in the industry at his home near Mauchline.

    When asked if he was concerned that legal highs could be responsible for the recent spate of deaths, Gorton said: “The same question could be levelled at alcohol, at cars. Does the car manufacturer feel guilty when people are killed by cars? People are safe as long as they are used within the guidelines given.”

    Despite the links made between such products and the deaths of legal high users, there is no suggestion that Mr Gorton has broken the law.

    Graeme Pearson, former head of the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency, said: “The difficulty about trying to classify these [legal highs] is that the chemical composition can be very similar – in fact, almost the same. So when the government identifies one, manufacturers can change the formula slightly and create something slightly different but almost the same.

    Exclusive: Chris Watt

    Published on 21 Mar 2010



  1. Phenoxide
    Apparently the Scottish DEA are unfamiliar with the UK's phenethylamine and tryptamine laws. If a similarly wide-scope controlling of cathinone derivatives is implemented then it's going to cut the market down at the knees. Sure people will always explore new loopholes, but UK law is about as watertight as it gets, and scheduling will set the market back years.

    Also pretty ridiculous for this article to insinuate that the manufacture is taking place in the UK. This dumbass they interviewed was clearly just a wholesaler that imports his products, puts them in some fancy packaging, and sells them an inflated price. A quick google search would suggest that this guy's highest qualification is a HND in IT which he attained some 15 years after leaving high school, yet they expect us to believe he's some kind of clandestine chemist kingpin?

    Kinda embarassing all around really.
  2. Blue Buddha
    My question is why do they insist on making all these chemicals illegal when regulation would work much better in many instances. In the US, alcohol and tobacco are harder to get than pot or many "legal" highs.

    Indeed it is embarrassing to even an uneducated hobby/basement chemist such as SWIM.
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