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Psychoactive Substances Act

Volume 606: debated on Monday 22 February 2016

12. What progress her Department has made on reviewing the status of poppers within the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016. (903671)

The evidence-gathering stage of the review has begun. The Government are considering the next steps to ensure that the health and relationship benefits of poppers, and their risks, are fully assessed in an open and transparent manner.

Eighteen thousand police officers have been cut in the past five years. Is it really sensible to waste scarce police resources on enforcing a ban on poppers and unnecessarily criminalising users of a relatively harmless substance, particularly when the ban may be revoked in a few months?

I hope that the hon. Gentleman welcomed the Psychoactive Substances Act, because we do not know what effect such substances have on young people—they may cause death—so the blanket ban on them is incredibly important. We are committed to reviewing the benefits of poppers against the harms, to see whether they should be included.