Skip to main content

Drugs: Misuse

Volume 508: debated on Thursday 8 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) which substances commonly considered to be legal highs are under review by his Department; (325702)

(2) when officials in his Department were first made aware of the risks arising from the use of mephedrone as a drug;

(3) if he will consider bringing forward proposals to include (a) methylone and (b) butylone within the provisions of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Pursuant to the previous Home Secretary's commission of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to provide advice on so called “legal highs” in March 2009 and following its advice on synthetic cannabinoids, and cathinone derivatives, the ACMD are now considering its next priority area from a range that includes but is not limited to plants such as Kava kava and Salvia divinorum, solvents and gases, miscellaneous stimulants and hallucinogens, and fungi.

Home Office officials first became aware of the use of mephedrone as a drug following unconfirmed presentations to Accident and Emergency units during the Isle of Wight music festival in late July 2009.

The draft order to control mephedrone and other cathinone derivatives currently before Parliament will enshrine in law a generic definition encompassing a wide range of cathinone derivatives, including methylone and butylone.