Psychoactive Substances Act could ban sugar rushes
The ban on legal highs might be impossible. The Guardian says “the government’s blanket ban on legal highs that was due to come into effect on 6 April has been postponed for at least a month… The Psychoactive Substances Act, which has reached the statute book, has been delayed following claims that its current definition of a psychoactive substance is not enforceable by the police.”
The story goes that it’s tricky telling which substance is psychoactive. It’s not. It’s all of them. The WHO defines:
Psychoactive substances are substances that, when taken in or administered into one’s system, affect mental processes, e.g. cognition or affect. This term and its equivalent, psychotropic drug, are the most neutral and descriptive term for the whole class of substances, licit and illicit, of interest to drug policy. ‘Psychoactive’ does not necessarily imply dependence-producing, and in common parlance, the term is often left unstated, as in ‘drug use’ or ‘substance abuse’.
The paper adds:
The legislation aims to ban any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect, with a list of exemptions of substances in everyday use such as alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.
The exemptions might be termed as: stuff the legislators like to take.
Poppers, also known as alkyl nitrite, were excluded entirely from the legislation after the government’s advisory committee on the misuse of drugs ruled that it did not have a direct effect on the brain.
A Home Office spokesperson adds:
“The landmark Psychoactive Substances Act will fundamentally change the way we tackle these drugs and put an end to unscrupulous suppliers profiting from their trade. Our message is clear: offenders will face up to seven years in prison.”
Is the profit the thing they don’t like, or is it the drugs?
Meanwhile, about that sugar tax…