Following advice from the government’s independent drug experts, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), new synthetic cannabinoids (such as those contained in Black Mamba and Annihilation), O-desmethyltramadol, methoxetamine (sold as Mexxy) and similar compounds have been classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne said: ‘High-quality scientific advice is vital to the government’s ongoing work to tackle harmful drug use. The independent advice we receive from the ACMD is critical to our evidence-based drugs policy.
‘The government 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.
‘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.’
Since March 2012, methoxetamine was subject to the UK’s first temporary class drug order following advice from the ACMD.
In its advice on methoxetamine the ACMD indicated that the temporary ban may have had ‘real and immediate impact on tackling internet sales of methoxetamine with a significant proportion of UK websites ceasing to advertise its sale’.