April 2nd, 2010
Drugs advisor Eric Carlin resigns from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs over the tabloid driven ban on mephedrone:
Re-Mephedrone; we had little or no discussion about how our recommendation to classify this drug would be likely to impact on young peopleâ€™s behaviour. Our decision was unduly based on media and political pressure. The report was tabled to the whole Council for the first time on Monday; the Chair came to brief you before the whole Council had even discussed all of the report. In fact, I still havenâ€™t seen the final version.
Mephedrone is still legal, but a spate of tabloid stories in which it is “linked” to various deaths means that it will be banned as soon as parliament has the time for it, despite the lack of direct evidence pf mephedrone’s lethality. Nobody has actually proved that mephedrone has caused any deaths, just that some people who later turned up death had used it at some point, often together with other drugs. Banning it, when it has allegedly become the fourth most popular drug in the UK, just means the selling of it will be turned over to organised crime, rather than smartshops. Is this a clever idea?