IT is now against the law for drug dealers to import or sell mephedrone after Health Minister Eddie Teare tabled a motion to change the Medicines Act 2003 to outlaw the drug in Tynwald last week.
Next month a law to ban people from possessing or importing the legal high for personal use will be considered by Tynwald.
Anyone caught dealing in the chemical substance, known as 'plant food' or 'miaow miaow', will face a fine of up to 5,000 or up to two years' jail.
Members of Tynwald voted unanimously for the law to be changed. Mr Teare said: 'We are making a start on limiting the use of this dangerous and unwelcome arrival on our Island.
'Mephedrone is a chemical stimulant which has effects similar to ecstacy or MDMA, inducing euphoria, alertness, talkativeness and feelings of empathy.'
He added: 'It can also cause anxiety and paranoid states and over-stimulation of the heart and nervous system causing fits. Severe nose bleeds have been reported after snorting it. It is a white or off-white powder, usually sold on the internet and described as "not for human consumption". Reports say it can cause both physiological and psychological dependence.'
A government strategy group, formed to address concerns surrounding the substance, met for the first time in December and decided the law should be changed. Mephedrone is not currently controlled in the UK but it is banned in some European countries.
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At last – some positive action. Now lets have a crackdown on pubs and clubs and make it as difficult as possible for them to peddle their drugs
I think this is fantastic news, this chemical has been so availble for young people on the island and has serious consequences on the lives of many and thier families, often with devestating effects. Many found the legalisation of it to mean that it was as 'harmless' (a term i use losely) as smoking. I think the Govt should be proud to have taken these proactive mesures to help protect residents.
It is ironic that the drug remains technically legal on the Isle of Man particularly when the drug it stimulates (ecstasy) is illegal. Mephedrone is far more dangerous than ecstasy. The problem the Island (and UK) face is that drug use is endemic amongst young people. And this situation won't change by criminalisation, banning, or other ineffective measures. The next 'mephedrone' is already in the shops. The 'legal high' industry is booming to the extent that people now seek the 'legal alternative' because it is better than the 'real thing'. Drug Tzars may be sacked in the UK for speaking the truth. Nevertheless it's time drug policy reflected & accepted what has happened to our society. And that the current situation with regard to illegal drugs together with the unregulated legal ones won't be solved by prohibition.