Two groups of so-called ‘legal highs’ are to be made illegal for 12 months while government experts assess whether they should be permanently controlled.
Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne today introduced a Temporary Class Drug Order (TCDO) on new psychoactive (NPS) substances known as ‘NBOMe’ and ‘Benzofury’.
The drugs will be made illegal for up to 12 months while the government’s independent drug experts, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) decides whether they should be permanently controlled.
Minister for Crime Prevention Jeremy Browne MP said:
“Drugs ruin lives and cause misery to families and communities and the use of this power shows how the UK is leading the way in cracking down on new psychoactive substances.
This temporary class drug order will protect the public and give our independent experts time to prepare advice, while enabling law enforcement partners to target traffickers.
Making drugs illegal is only part of the solution, however. Users of these substances need to understand that although they are described as ‘legal highs’, they are by no means safe.”
The order has been laid in Parliament today and the substances will become illegal on 10 June.
This gives the government time to inform law enforcement agencies of the changes and allows suppliers and manufacturers to dispose of their substances before it becomes illegal.
Once the order comes into effect, those caught making, supplying or importing the drugs will face up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
The Drug and Alcohol Action Team have developed a new campaign to raise awareness of ‘legal highs’, which is recognised as a growing problem.