Police chief welcomes new mephedrone legislation

By Vicky Lamont

A government decision last Friday to classify mephedrone as a Class B illegal substance has been welcomed by a local police commander.

There will be a ban on the import, export, supply, production and possession of mephedrone.

Welcoming the move, District Commander for H District, Chief Superintendent Nigel Goddard, said: "The decision underlines our view that this is a dangerous drug and should not be taken or distributed by anyone in our community.

“The new legislation will give local police the powers to deal with the sale and misuse of this substance. The easy availability of the drug was something which understandably caused concern in the community and its new classification will provide reassurance and clarity that action will be taken in this area.

"Local police officers are working very hard with shops which have been selling mephedrone and will robustly enforce the new legislation.”

Detective Chief Inspector Shaun McKee of Organised Crime Branch added: ,"The effect of various pieces of new legislation will be to send out a clear message to young people that this is a dangerous and harmful drug and should not be taken.

“Our enforcement will initially concentrate on those people who sell and traffic this harmful drug rather than on the young people who we may find in possession of it. It is not our intention to criminalise young people."

Mephedrone has effects similar to amphetamines (speed) and ecstasy (MDMA). It comes as a white or off-white powder, and is often sold on the internet, either loose in bags or sometimes in capsules.

It is often described as a plant food, research chemical or bath salts and labelled "not for human consumption".

The substance can have a violent effect on the central nervous system, leading to fits. Users have also experienced mood swings, anxiety and paranoia.