The drug, which has no known legitimate use, will be banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
The legislation includes a generic definition to prevent unscrupulous drug manufacturers tweaking the chemical structure in an attempt to get around the law.
Home Office minister’s statement
Minister for Crime Prevention James Brokenshire said:
‘The government is deeply concerned about the use of “legal highs” which is why we took swift action to ban this new drug.
‘There is also clear evidence that just because a substance advertised as a “legal” high does not mean this is the case. Anyone buying a legal high is putting their health at risk and could be committing a criminal offence.’
Penalties and rules on importing naphyrone
Class B drugs carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison for possession and 14 years in prison for supply, alongside an unlimited fine.
The import of naphyrone and its related compounds have already been banned and UKBA have detained 3.5 kg of the suspected substances since the ban came into force on 7 July.
The control of these substances follows advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) on 7 July 2010. The ACMD continue to look at the use of so called ‘legal highs’ as a priority.
Notes to editors
Naphyrone will become a Class B drug from 0001 on Friday 23 July 2010
View the ACMD report on naphyrone.
Following receipt of ACMD advice on naphyrone on 7 July it was subjected to an immediate importation ban. This allowed the UK Border Agency to seize and destroy naphyrone and certain related compounds under the Open General Import Licence where it is imported without a licence.
The legislation will include generic compounds to prevent suppliers easily switching to new versions of the substance. View the legislation on the OPSI website.
The substances will be banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 as Class B drugs.
The Frank website and 24 hour helpline provides information and advice on a range of drugs and legal highs, including naphyrone, it can be found at on the FRANK website.
For more information contact the Home Office press office on 020 7035 3535.