UK & World News
Two 'Legal Highs' To Be Permanently Banned
Two dangerous legal highs are to be made illegal class B drugs with users facing up to five years in jail, ministers have said.
Mexxy and black mamba are to be permanently banned following the finding of the Government's drugs advisers found they pose dangerous risks to health, crime prevention minister Jeremy Browne said.
"People who take "legal highs" are taking serious risks with their lives because often they do not know what they are taking and the drugs may contain harmful substances," he explained.
The move comes after methoxetamine - mexxy - was linked to two deaths and police warned of the "life-threatening effects" of black mamba.
Users will now face heavy fines and up to five years in prison, while suppliers could be jailed for up to 14 years.
"High quality scientific advice is vital to the Government's ongoing work to tackle harmful drug use," said Mr Browne."The independent advice we receive from the ACMD is critical to our evidence-based drugs policy."
He went on: "The UK is addressing the harm caused by "legal highs" by outlawing not just individual drugs, but whole families of related substances that have the potential to cause serious harm."
Police warned people not to take mexxy, sold as an alternative to ketamine, after the bodies of a 59-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man were found in Leicester and Melton Mowbray in February.
It was the first substance to be put under a temporary ban earlier this year.
Speaker's wife Sally Bercow tweeted soon after that the ban had made her want to try some.
While Mrs Bercow told followers she would not actually buy or try any, she said she was "now obsessed with the stuff, despite never having heard of it 1/2 hr ago".
Prime Minister David Cameron had earlier pledged to crack down on legal highs amid fears over black mamba.