A British man who served half of a seven year sentence for dealing in illicit drugs has set up again in a similar trade, but this time with a subtle difference. Yes he sells recreational drugs. But this time the drugs (like 2-DPMP, BK-MBDP and 4-MMCat, to name but three) are legal to buy and possess. Not only that but he can sell them with a clear conscience, as any adverse side-effects are covered with a weak, but clearly presented cloak of protection.
The label reads "Not for human consumption".
'Sunny' was speaking to British newspaper 'The Telegraph', which had just set him up in something of a sting operation.
With legal high "Mephedrone" in the news after the sad death of teenager Gabi Price, The Telegraph decided to head online and find out just how easy it is to score some mephedrone, (also known as meeow meeow, 4-MMCat and a few others).
Many British websites are now offering 'same day delivery' around London, and it was one of these services The Telegraph contacted after undertaking a Google Search. A meeting was set up and the exchange took place at Osterley station in the south-west of the UK's Capital city.
Once the deal had been done, the reporter announced that he was a journalist with The Sunday Telegraph and Sunny agreed to talk to the newspaper about his business.
"It’s big business,” he said.
“I run the website with two other people and we make around £25,000 a week. We get dozens of orders every day from people all over the country. We never dreamt that we could make so much money from it.”
Sunny launched the website months after he had been released from prison after serving three-and-a-half years of a seven-year sentence for dealing class-A drugs.
He agreed to talk to The Sunday Telegraph even though committing another offence will land him back in jail because, he said, what he is doing “is perfectly legal”.
“Everyone who runs a website like mine knows it’s illegal to sell these drugs for human consumption. That’s why we use descriptions like ‘not for human consumption’, ‘plant feeders’, or ‘research chemicals’.
Which throws up a glaringly clear illustration of how drugs prohibition generally, and the medicine act specifically, is actually protecting the people who sell these legal drugs, instead of protecting the people who experiment with them.
In most cases it is illegal to sell, supply or advertise legal highs under medicines legislation, but suppliers use descriptions such as “plant foods”, “research chemicals”, “fertiliser” and “cleaning fluid”, with labels that state “not for human consumption” to get around the law.
Yet their intended audience is clear. Many websites are illustrated with pictures of clubbers, and names such as XXX and XXX do nothing to disguise their targeted market.
So isn't it about time these products were removed from the medicine act? At least as long as these recreational drugs exist, the safety data relating to each substance should be made widely available, so in the case of an emergency, at least the emergecy services are aware of the substance they are attempting to tackle.
Lets take a theoretical head-shop which stocks up and begins to sell the full range of legally available research chemical drugs.
Ordinarily the business owners needs only a website, a set of digital scales and a large supply of small baggies to set up shop. And he can operate quite legally.
But in this instance our scrupulous head-shop owner decides to recognise his customers for what they are, and instead of marketing the drugs as plant feeder or bath-salts, he calls them by their proper names and offers safety data on the label's he attaches to his baggies. He even goes so far as to add an "In case of emergency" warning on the back of the packaging, which is designed to be carried on the person who is experimenting with the drug. And for going to such trouble he faces imprisonment under the medicine act?
The Royal College of Psychiatrists says that they are starting to see patients suffering from psychosis, which can include hallucinations and delusions, on mental health wards as a result of taking mephedrone. But they lied about that when talking about cannabis and would doubtless lie about it again to suit their political ends.
But dodgy scare reports from politicians and the press will do little to deter the owners of “legal high” websites, some of which, according to Sunny, are earning in excess of £100,000 every week.
“It’s such a new phenomenon and lots of people are trying to take advantage of the huge amount of money that can be made while it’s still legal".
December 9, 2009