Sent to The Courier after the publication of this article about a Fife resident who died in connection with mephedrone:
the recent spate of hospitalisations of people who have suffered medical emergencies after taking mephedrone, also known as mcat or bubbles, is a matter of great concern. However, I was troubled by the comment from Chief Superintendent Alistair McKeen that people should not try legal highs because they are unresearched. Indeed, there is very little, if any scientific research done on mephedrone and no-one has any idea of its long-term effects on the human body, although early signs suggest it is worse than ketamine or MDMA. But the reason people are taking mephedrone over ketamine and MDMA is because our government has made those two drugs illegal.
So instead of encouraging people to take care of their health and to ensure that whatever they do to their own bodies they do so in as safe a manner as possible, our drugs laws are actively encouraging people to take untested, unknown substances over well-researched chemicals that are objectively less lethal than horse-riding. This is a ludicrous situation to be in. We must cease our moralising as a nation and treat drug use as the health issue that it is instead of an excuse to lock up hedonists and the emotionally vulnerable.
External Relations Director
Students for Sensible Drug Policy UK
See also this very interesting analysis from Liberalconspiracy.org about the media frenzy on mephedrone and how it’s factually dodgy: “The press and impossibility of legal highs“. Keep watching the press on this issue.
Mephedrone is a drug that can have terrible consequences upon people. I know this from first hand experience. It is dirt cheap and addictive. And to say that criminalizing it encourages use it absolute nonsense – me and my friends were caning it a long time before it was well known, let alone before it became high profile enough to become subject to legislation. Have you ever actually taken mephadrone? Do you think that an illegal status makes it more attractive than when it was less than £5 a gram? Or when your friends were giving it to you for free because they could import it so cheaply? For all of what you say about ´moralising to the nation´ the fact is that meph is dangerous, addictive and can have profound effects on a user´s personal relationships. It makes you emotionally unstable and volatile in the short-term and paranoid in the long. There are no longitudinal studies on its physiological or mental effects, and no other studies which would suggest any positive reasons for it to retain a legally available status. Its cheapness compared to MDMA and coke, reduced comedown compared with speed and relative predictability compared with other uppers make it easy to peddle and widespread on the market. Please do not publish such informed and unexperienced posts in the future.
SSDP UK has compiled all the research that has so far been completed on it, so I am well aware of its risk. I have taken mephedrone in the past, as it happens, and I did not become “emotionally unstable”. I have several friends who gave up taking it because of its addictive nature, which was costing them a fortune – they didn’t destroy their friendships though. If you have an addictive personality or you want to lose yourself in drug use, you will do that. Don’t blame the drugs for your own problems.
The fact is, whatever the effect that it has on the human body, its sale is largely limited to people making a few quid at parties, and there is no incentive for criminals to cut it with crap as they do with ketamine and other powdered drugs. There is no crime associated with the use of mephedrone, and it is not soaked in blood the way cocaine and heroin are. This is because it is currently legal. If you make it illegal, all the problems with mephedrone, like its addictiveness, its unknown health consequences, all become much harder to address when people are unable to talk about the issues they are having with it openly for fear of being put through the criminal justice system. And then you add in all the other problems associated with criminalising a drug – drug dealing wars, illicit production, loss of revenue, people dying in corners due to a lack of education etc.
Mephedrone has its problems, but its madness to believe that they will magically go away if we start jailing people for it. Has anyone ever been shot over mephedrone dealing territory? Think about the actual consequences of abdicating substance control into the hands of criminals. Personally when I think about the relative body counts involved, control and regulation is the only answer to keep the greatest number of people safe.
Well now it’s finally illegal.. result: all who i know taking it still take it – though instead of buying it for round 6quid cleanly in a shop they are paying 12-15quid for a dirty product on the streets which is even class A now in britain… STILL – i had some experience and i must say this shit is shit = very addictive and very destructive!
you guys are aware that it is only 2 molecules different from crystal meth?
Great article though!
As someone with direct experience of over 25 years in the drug field, it is tiring, wearisome and depressing to hear people still grasping at air to find justification for using drugs of any sort….get a life people, it is out there!
If you have spent your life making a living from an industry that infringes on people’s liberties and destroys far more lives than drugs have ever done, I don’t it is the drug law reformers who are lacking a fulfilling existence.
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