Jacqui Smith to ban 'legal high' drugs
The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, is to ban two "legal highs" and a range of *anabolic steroids in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics.
The Home Office published proposals today to ban the personal use of GBL, an industrial solvent also used as paint stripper, which has become a drug of choice on the club scene. It follows the death of a Sussex University medical student, Hester Stewart, 21. Her body was found with a container of GBL close by.
The second drug to be banned is BZP, a stimulant that started life as a worming treatment for cattle but is now marketed as a "legal herbal high" that can act as an MDMA or ecstasy substitute. A recent report by the European monitoring centre for drugs and drug addiction identified the health risks of BZP. They included vomiting, headaches and stomach pains lasting for up to 24 hours.
The government's advisory council on the misuse of drugs is expected to recommend action against a third "legal high" known as Spice when it reports to the home secretary by July.
"It is absolutely right that we continue to adapt our drug policy to the changing environment of substance misuse," Smith said.
Smith is also proposing to add 24 *anabolic steroids to the list of banned drugs. At present 54 anabolic steroids and five growth hormones are banned in Britain.