Party Drug Mephedrone Now Banned in UK
The government moved to reclassify the drug only hours after receiving a recommendation to do so from an advisory council. A government spokesperson announced that the drug should be banned by law within weeks, after parliamentary action. Mephedrone will become a class B drug throughout the UK, with possession punishable with up to 5 years in prison and the sale of the drug punishable by up to 14 years of prison time.
Mephedrone is a designer drug with effects somewhat similar to those of ecstasy and amphetamines. Mephedrone and similar drugs have been linked to the deaths of 25 within the UK.
Although the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs did recommend reclassifying the substance, 2 committee members have resigned over the way the government has handled the mephedrone issue.
Eric Carlin, who resigned from the committee yesterday, accused the government of making policy for political points without really listening to what scientific advisors had to say. Carlin said that the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, had been making speeches about the ban before the committee had made its report or had even finished evaluating the research information. He says that he left the committee to protest the criminalization of what he says are really public health issues, arguing that, "What we fundamentally need to do is get to the root causes of why is it that our 14, 15-year-olds are getting off their faces?"
In his resignation letter, Eric Carlin wrote, “I am not prepared to continue to be part of a body which, as its main activity, works to facilitate the potential criminalisation of increasing numbers of young people."
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