Home > drugs > Banning mephedrone is not the answer

Banning mephedrone is not the answer

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In the news today is the sad story of two teenagers who died in Scunthorpe this week, allegedly as a result of taking the ‘legal high’ mephedrone while out drinking with friends. Predictably, we now have calls for this drug to be banned – indeed, classified as a Class A drug alongside ecstacy and heroin.

I’ve blogged on the inherent stupidity of our current drug laws previously, so won’t go into it again (NB: just to make clear, the only mind-altering drug that I self-administer is ethanol, and in limited quantities at that). However, it’s worth making the point – mephedrone has been in use as a recreational drug for some time, across the world. In that time, apparently the number of deaths linked to its use is next to zero. Obviously, there will be side effects – particularly with high doses and/or long-term use – but this is evidently true for alcohol and smoking; I don’t see either of these being re-classified as Class A drugs any time soon, do you…?

A key point of all of this for me was that the teenagers in question were 18 and 19 years of age, i.e. adults. Nothing I’ve read suggests that they were forced to take mephedrone against their will, or that it was a tragic accident. In the end, it seems that they thought they could mess with their minds with no consequences, and were sadly proved wrong.

In the end, more effective education and open conversation will always have more impact than simply issuing a blanket ban. It’s the shame that banning things is so much easier…

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Categories: drugs
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