'Meow Meow' Banned

Mephedrone is to be banned as a Class B substance following recommendations from the Government's drug advisory panel.

The previously 'legal-high' will face an immediate ban on imports, with Border patrols given the power to destroy any further shipments of the drug.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said shops found supplying the substance will also feel the full weight of the law.

Instructions have been given to local authorities to take action under consumer protect legislation.

A new Government-backed fact card on the dangers of using Mephedrone - sometimes referred to as Meow Meow - will also be distributed through the drug awareness website FRANK.

Mr Johnson said he is determined to "act swiftly" on expert advice.

He will now seek cross-party support to ban mephedrone and its related compounds as soon as possible.

"Mephedrone and its related substances have been shown to be dangerous and harmful, but it is right we waited for full scientific advice so we can take action that stops organised criminals and dealers tweaking substances to get around the law," said the Home Secretary.

Chair of the Government's drug panel, Professor Les Iversen said: "The advice we have provided to government is generic legislation encompassing a wide range of cathinone derivatives.

"This is, as far as we are aware, a world-first for the cathinones. By proposing this chemically complex legislation - we expect that our drug laws will be more robust and more difficult for chemists to develop new substances to flout the law."

Mephedrone is currently sold labelled as 'plant food' or as 'bath salts' in an attempt to bypass the medicines laws.

The former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith asked the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to carry out a programme of work looking into legal highs based on prevalence and harm in March last year.


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