THE government has stepped up its action against legal highs and imposed a ban today on five more dangerous substances - a move welcomed by Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner.
The ban covers five compounds related to methylphenidate, a Class B drug, due to concerns about their misuse as new psychoactive substances (NPS).
The action will last for up to 12 months, to allow the independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to decide whether they should be permanently controlled.
Ethylphenidate, one of the drugs being banned, has emerged as an alternative to cocaine and is currently being sold using the street names ‘Gogaine’ and ‘Burst.’
To prevent users from switching to related drugs with similar harms, the ACMD has also recommended that the following four drugs are banned: 3,4-Dichloromethylphenidate (‘3,4-DCMP’), Methylnaphthidate, Isopropylphenidate and Propylphenidate.
Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner, Simon Hayes, said: ‘I support the government in imposing this ban.
‘I hope however they will go further and pledge either a total ban or legislation governing the sale of these dangerous and life threatening poisons.
‘A poll run on my website currently shows that the majority of respondents either feel that there should be a total ban on these mind-altering ‘legal highs’, or that the government should legislate their sale and that local authorities should ban their use in public places.
‘The poll also showed overwhelming support for a total ban on the sale of ‘legal highs’ to those aged under 18 years of age.’
Anyone caught making, supplying or importing any of the drugs will face up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Police officers will be allowed to search or detain anyone suspected of being in possession of these drugs which they can seize and dispose of.