"Legal Drugs" Take Over As Marijuana And Cocaine Fall In Popularity With Youth

Discussion in 'Technology' started by ScrogBetty, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. ScrogBetty ScrogBetty

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    Out With The Old - In With The New

    Sick, sad and wrong....

    By Cecilia Rodriguez

    For several years, I’ve been hearing from my sons, both of whom study at U.K. universities, and their friends that cannabis and even cocaine are “yesterday’s news,” while among young Brits the “in” thing are “legal drugs” or “legal highs.”

    I hadn’t paid much attention simply because the word “legal” was included and so I concluded that they were talking about harmless substances. Until this week, when I learned from The Economist that “legal highs” are in fact not really legal at all, but produced so quickly and their contents changed so frequently that there’s no time to even declare them illegal.


    New "Legal Highs" are appearing at a rate of one per week in the U.K. They are laboratory-made products that mimic the effects of illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine and even heroin. They come in pills, liquid or to be smoked or snorted, and the variations in their compositions are infinite.
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    With different names like Annihilation, Black Mamba, Spice, Benzo Fury, Amsterdam Gold, Bombay Blue Extreme, X, Karma, Miaow miaow, Bubble, White Magic, MC, M-Cat, Bounce, and 4-MMC, these types of psychoactive, synthetic equivalents of the traditional recreational drugs are produced and marketed at the rate of more than one a week, rendering existing laws practically useless.

    Police officials testifying in the House of Lords cross-party parliamentary group investigating the issue said that the existing criminal sanctions for drug users is not nearly denting their use. In its report, published last week, the commission advised the government to legalize new recreational drugs and make them available for sale in pharmacies under strictly regulated conditions rather than ban them, as is done now.

    The report also recommends that the authorizations to suppliers be limited to certain outlets required to label the product with a clear description of its contents, its risks and the maximum advisable dose. They expect that the system would encourage young people to avoid the unknown and more dangerous alternatives. Sales to minors and advertising would be banned. “The more substances are banned, the more are created and the greater uncertainties for consumers,” added the report

    According to The Guardian, “the first legal highs to be banned in Britain were mephedrone, known as “miaow miaow” and methoxetamine, known as “mexxy”, which largely imitate the effects of amphetamines and cannabis. They usually come in the form of 1-kilo packets of white powder produced most often in China and India and sold through online head shops.

    Apparently, party invitations circulating on smartphones now include weblinks to suppliers of legal highs. Not only vendors but also forums, discussion groups, and reviews abound on the Internet.

    “The surge in the number of young people using legal highs is fuelled by middle-class professionals looking to avoid the stigma of taking illegal drugs,” writes The Telegraph.

    While the number of heroin and cocaine users has decreased, clinics are witnessing a rise in problems associated with a wide array of new chemical substances flooding the market. The report explains that “the greatest risk to young people from new psychoactive substances derives from the absence of reliable information about the contents and strength of each substance and its effects both short and long term.”

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