Statement by Professor David Nutt on calls to ban mephedrone

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Responding to calls by the National Association of Headteachers for mephedrone to be banned, Professor David Nutt, chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) said:

'I support the Home Secretary's position that a rush into classifying mephedrone is premature. Such decisions need to be based on sound science. Some previously reported mephedrone deaths have also turned out to be false alarms.

'The use of mephedrone has increased due to its availability and current legal status. This means that users do not run the risk of criminal convictions, whose impact could be much more damaging than the effects of the drug itself.

'The ISCD takes seriously the potential risks of mephedrone use. It is discussing this matter at its meeting on April 23. It is also liaising closely with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), which is currently reviewing the situation across the continent and will report in July.'

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