back to article Legal highs now illegal

The law banning GBL, BZP, synthetic cannabis and other "legal highs" comes into effect today. The change came about in the summer, after the Home Office took the extraordinary step of asking its scientific advisers to look at the issue and then followed their advice. This was before the Home Office fell out with Professor …


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  1. Juillen 1

    Irony of advertising..

    Most of the google links were for 'legal high' stores.. Hmm..

  2. Ben Rosenthal
    Big Brother

    all I want for Christmas

    is a government more interested in running the country, and less obsessed with trying to run me.

    NHS targets, dangerous roads and a lifetime at war with the east.....those are real issues, not what some tosser from Manchester shoves up his beak at the weekend in the privacy of his home >.<

    1. TimeMaster T
      Big Brother

      Come on now

      The government only wants whats best for you.

      so stand in front of your mirror and repeat after me;

      Slavery is Freedom

      Now say that 10 times and you'll feel doubleplusgood.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    When tomato food is outlawed...

    ...only criminals will have lovely big tomatos.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    didn't worked in the '30s, won't work now either.

  5. Whirly

    Two dead = bad, 1800 dead = business as usual

    People taking something of their own free will, bad as a couple of people die. Lock em up.

    If the state kills 1800 people with drugs, vulnerable people, people who are unable to resist the state forcing drugs on them, well maybe a news story for a day or two :

    But no-one goes to jail, no drug companies prosecuted, no minister resigns (or is even asked to resign).

    Yes drug legislation is all about safety. Really.

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    What compounds are the Home Office dropping, these days explain their behaviour?

    Randoms drugs testing of MPs would show up some interesting abuses and render their many punitive campaigns as lobbied exercises to the server advantage to status quo drug and alcohol use and abuse and their concerns highly hypocritical and subjective.

  7. Citizen Kaned


    all of them are a damn site less harmful than alcohol, but of course the gov dont tax legal highs 2000%.

    and if anything thinks the eton blues will be any less totalitarian they are mistaken. lib dems are the only ones who seem to care about people at all.

  8. Cameron Colley
    Big Brother

    I demand that all sports be banned banned!

    Come on, you arseholes, you haven't banned nearly enough dangerous things yet! Don't just stop with one dangerous and largely pointless activity -- I demand you ban them all!!!!! Think of the children!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. The Vociferous Time Waster
    Big Brother

    Well that's fine then

    If the buzzkillers at new labour are going to prosecute me for smoking spice I'll just stick to pot. It's less harmful, cheaper, easier to get your hands on and more likely to make you giggle until morning.

    What a bunch of cocks they are.

    Rage Against the Machine for parliament!!

  10. Stephane Mabille


    Just another proof that prohibition is not the way forward...

    Banning natural and/or well known products just force people to experiment with far more toxic chemicals.

    Pushing issues underground might make them disappearing form the Daily Mail front page but don't solve the problem.

    Obviously this government (and I bet the next one either) is not ready to take a sensible approach to the drug problem and prefer to let people resort to crime to feed an habit on diluted crap product.

    Cost efficient, quality controlled products provided along information and social support is the only way to tackle the problem.

    Drug should be a health issue not a criminal matter...

    1. OldBiddie

      Mostly Wine and Brandy

      There are six bars in the Houses

      The Pugin Room: Bar lounge, also serving morning coffees and afternoon teas to Members,

      Officers and their guests.

      Members' Smoking Room: For Members only.

      Strangers' Bar: For Members, Officers, senior staff, and their guests.

      Terrace Bar: As for Strangers' Bar (Easter to July only).

      Annie's Bar: For Members, Officers and Lobby journalists. Opened in 1968; relocated


      Press Bar: For Lobby journalists, Official report staff and Doorkeepers

      And the great thing is this: bars in the House of Commons operate without a licence, and do not keep to the permitted hours laid down by the Licensing Acts (and I'd suspected are highly discounted too).

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      They are very naughty haughty boys .... slippery snakes playing at being strawmen of steel?

      "What a bunch of cocks they are.

      Rage Against the Machine for parliament!" ... The Vociferous Time Waster Posted Wednesday 23rd December 2009 11:37 GMT

      The Vociferous Time Waster is hereby Seconded, and with regard to this politically contrived and loaded gem, [probably presently somewhere in the Register publishing pipeline,] ..." Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been called to give evidence to the Iraq inquiry - but his hearing will not take place until after the general election. .... This will include ex-legal adviser Lord Goldsmith, ex-foreign secretary Jack Straw and Alastair Campbell. " ..... ...... surely, the Grreater Public Good would be better Served and Servered, to know what they have to say in evidence about Iraq, before the election rather than after it, for what is the point of hiding their miserable failings and pathetic misdeeds/heroic actions and shrewd thoughts, whenever they are so crucial to Public Knowledge for their electoral decision making as to their continued suitability for High Public Office.

      Is the Inquiry Chilcott such a Wimp and a Cuckold and so Pathetically Sycophantically Deferential as to be a Practically Useless Eunuch and as a Stain on, and an Insult to, National Intelligence?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        and lets not forget....

        THEY are allowed to smoke in their bars, unlike the rest of us!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      "One murder makes a villain; millions a hero. Numbers sanctify." - Charlie Chaplin, Monsieur Verdoux

    4. Jerome 0


      I agree - ban children immediately.

      1. Clint Sharp


        They won't ever ban children where else would they get their worker drones (moats don't clean themselves you know) they'll just ban the most popular method of making them as it's too much fun that they can't tax.

    5. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Is this a clue?

      amanfromMars makes almost complete sense when commenting on a drug story.

  11. hi_robb

    I'll never understand these legal highs

    When the illegal ones are far better. I tried spice and was it better than good old mary jane?


    Not even close. It smelt like canned fish, tasted like custard socks and gave me a feeling that was similar to how you feel when you've been awake 24 hours.

    If that's the general quality of the high you get from these so called legal ones compared to the real thing, then I don't see why people bother. Even more so when you consider that some of the alternate chemical substances are probably much worse for your health.


  12. Fred 1

    Quite right too

    Of course these fake drugs should be banned.

    They are nowhere near as good as the real thing.

    Of course since puff has been illegal since before I was born it is ever so hard to get these days.

    Sometimes it takes me a couple of hours to track any down.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Law has been turned into a Fantasist

    The thought processes of the politicians have become so distorted, that they actually think their evil plans are doing good. Their destructive propensity is near obsessive, when it comes to the law.

    A step in the right direction, and something that could appease both camps, is to make the sale of certain items illegal but not the possession or production. So, close the pubs, remove the cigarettes from the corner stores, but allow the cultivation of poppies, coca, marijuana, barley, hops and tobacco by anyone.

    This would reduce the idea that people who use drugs resort to crime to fund their habit, as they just won't need to.

    And in the same vein, we close all the pharmaceutical companies, if you want to make a chemmy drug, then get out your chemistry kit.

    In a way, this would encourage people to actually learn something, and oddly enough would probably reduce drug consumption along the way. After a while of doing this, some of the sale could be returned in a limited fashion, new cottage industries would spring up and the local economy would be a lot stronger.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Total utter incompetance.

    I have long been a user of Spice products and am disappointed that the government have decided to make them illegal in the hope of stemming some kind of mass schizophrenic outburst in the UK. After working a long day as a sys admin I like to go home and have a couple of smokes, I don't get off my face, I don't start pissing on war memorials or causeing any sort of public indecency. I don't really drink and spice is the only "drug" I come into contact with.

    Some like to go home and have a glass of wine, others like to go home and have a relaxing bath, me, i like to get home, see my girlfriend and have a smoke. The problem with what their doing is not just limiting peoples freedoms but also this is going to push people back on to what I would actually call illegal drugs like cannabis.

    A sad state of affairs when I can't do something in the privacy of my own home which hurts no one.



    The government likes to control what you do in the world with your body and speech as well as what you do inside your own mind.

    Coming soon: pain induction devices with antennas in your brain.

    To keep you in line citizen! For the greater good!

  16. Anonymous Coward

    GBL is a controlled substance now?

    So I suppose boots will be in big trouble for selling those online?

  17. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Wonder what happens when...

    ...someone comes up with a potent new drug that involves the combination of a few common household items with overwhelming utility, such as bleach, peroxide, and other stuff. Banning them would become a major crimp on society (since said substances are used all over and have little or no possible substitutes), and their ubiquity would make even controlling them too irksome (imagine having to sign an intriplicate form just because you care about white whites).

    1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Won't be important

      Having your whites, white won't be important once the government mandates blue jumpsuits for everyone...

    2. Anonymous Coward

      You mean like...

      Water, sugar and yeast?

    3. Captain DaFt

      Call me Ishmael

      ."..someone comes up with a potent new drug that involves the combination of a few common household items with overwhelming utility, such as bleach, peroxide, and other stuff. Banning them would become a major crimp on society (since said substances are used all over and have little or no possible substitutes), and their ubiquity would make even controlling them too irksome (imagine having to sign an intriplicate form just because you care about white whites)."

      In the states they call it "meth". It's been quite a run around the past couple of decades as they keep adding substances to monitor, control or ban, while the kitchen labrats keep coming up with new recipes of ingredients to crank it out.

  18. ravenviz

    Missed a trick here

    'Legal highs' could easily have been the 'acceptable' back door into more tolerant and moderated drug use in the UK; for people who are doing it anyway but illegally. Doses could be controlled and people would know what they were getting, and at a known price. The associated taxes (don't think you'd get away with it) could then be put into research to perfect these (designer) drugs to minimze the short and long term unpleasant side effects. I really don't see what the government's beef is with drugs, mostly due to lost taxes that could presumably otherwise be spent on legal drugs. And I haven't even discussed the reduced crime element!

  19. Mowds

    But what about...

    But what about Cake? This menace still haunts our streets, and I demand action!

    1. Ben Rosenthal


      it's a fuggin disgrace!

  20. Graham Marsden

    Don't legislate, EDUCATE!

    Yet again we see this Control-Freak, Nanny State Government trying to decide for us poor little people what is or isn't good for us.

    Clearly we cannot be trusted with the information on the dangers of these products (or the fact that it's still more dangerous to use the roads or even get out of bed!) and be allowed to make up our own minds, we need them to say "don't you worry your pretty little heads about it, we'll make all the tough decisions so you won't need to think, so just sit down and watch the bread and circuses, erm, sorry, Get Me Out Ff Strictly Come X-Factor"

    Expect a few more "last hurrahs" from this bunch of idiots before they're kicked out of power...

  21. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Meanwhile, in the land of the real legal ubiquitous high ......

    ...... and it does make a mockery of all the guff spouted by Governments about Afghanistan ..... ...... and is bound to have the boys at the front wondering what they are really doing there, apart from creating enemies, that is, and constantly waiting for the next crazed junkie to get wasted and lay waste to all around them.

  22. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    7000 deaths this year.

    From drugs? No, from the war on drugs.

  23. raving angry loony

    Prohibition lives on

    40 years of American "War on Drugs" has proven to be a dismal failure. I guess the UK government never got the memo as they keep sucking American arse on the issue rather than looking at the science.

    Oh wait, they didn't LIKE the science, so they fired the people telling them the science. Yes, that makes sense.

    Looks like American Prohibition lives on! It's really quite profitable for a few people though. I wonder if they'll be the next "well-to-do" families once this blows over?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hi are you the boz boz? ah, good.

    Do you have any yellow bentines, or triple sub, or if not any clarkycat?

    it has to be good though as i don't want to end up like a piano dentist, or even worse go all blooty and take a quack candle and my arms to feel like a coupe of fortnights in a bad balloon.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    @amanfromMars 1

    I'm sure the MPs are keeping things well in hand.

    And you KNOW what I mean.

  26. Steve Roper
    Big Brother

    God forbid

    that people should be allowed to enjoy anything that makes them feel better about the shitty life the bastards in power are foisting upon us all. But the rationale is easily understandable by anyone familiar with 1984:

    "Tell me, Winston, how does one man assert power over another?"

    "By making him suffer."

    "Exactly. Obedience is not enough. Power is inflicting pain and humiliation otherwise you cannot be sure. Power is tearing human minds apart and putting the together in new shapes of your own choosing. Power is not a means, it is an end."

    So we can all see why the government doesn't want anyone to actually enjoy their existence. You're supposed to feel miserable and angry. But then you're not supposed to blame the government for that. You're supposed to blame terrorists and paedophiles. And I'm probably going to be shunted into the Ministry of Love for saying this because my orthodoxy is based on too much knowledge. Sort of like Winston's friend Syme...

  27. Zack Mollusc
    Thumb Up

    It's worthwhile

    I don't understand all the negative comments. Alcohol prohibition nearly got rid of america's drinking problem, our gun prohibition has almost eliminated firearm crimes and drug prohibition is very close to eliminating drug use. Utopia is nearly here, we just need some more laws, taxation and maybe a state secret police.

  28. Dave 120

    Free to be stupid.

    If people want to shove some mystery powder up their nose without knowing what it does then let them. If they die from it or turn into a vegetable, well they knew the risks.

    Same goes for motorcycle helmets - if you're stupid enough not to wear one you only have yourself to blame when you become an organ donor on the way home.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Governments are bizarre

    Why doesn't any government take the view "We think you're a waste of oxygen, you desperately want to ingest toxins, don't you think there's scope for a mutually beneficial arrangement?"

    Perhaps the drugs aren't dangerous enough to have much evolutionary effect anyway?

    On the other hand if we could let anyone stupid and self-engrossed enough to do so drug themselves into a contented semi-coma so they're too apathetic to vote, that would make direct democracy for the rest of us a lot more sensible.

  30. ElFatbob

    Re: Citizen Kaned

    'all of them are a damn site less harmful than alcohol, but of course the gov dont tax legal highs 2000%.'

    Not sure i'd be confident about making a statement like that. While we might have data about more 'traditional' recreational drugs, we certainly don't have enough to make that kind of assessment on this current generation of industrial cleaning chemicals.

    I don't think our gubberment actually gives a damn about the health impacts (real or imagined) of these compounds. I suspect they see people who have not been brought through the 'justice' system as a result of possessing these compounds as criminals who have wasted state money through arrest and no conviction.

    Some other posters make mention of the 'war on drugs'. The government has got no interest in winning such as thing. A huge state mechanism exists to wage such a thing - from police, lawyers and other justice system participants to the army of drug and alcohol counsellors and other 'support' services. Couldn't be doing with putting them out of work and refunding your tax pounds, could we?

    Finally, i just think you're daft if you take these or any other street drugs.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    In criminalizing Spice the goverment has created a self fufilling prophecy, legal highs acting as gateways to illegal drugs. Who will buy spice, the poor immatiation, when the real thing gains the same legal risk. Arf. Netherlands have the better idea

  32. Anonymous Coward

    I hear more and more people dropping

    things like "When's the revolution coming" into conversations. And this is an example of why. Hopefully if things keep going so badly people will start getting more political and things will change.

    1. Lionel Baden


      i have my pitchfork and barrel of gunpowder ready.

      on a serious note if somebody did blow up the houses of parliment i would have mixed feelings.

      The biggest loss would be the building and its history.

      Loss of life bad but possibly worth it, might just be enough for the goverment to realize that the country is so unhappy with their bullshit

  33. Titus Aduxass

    I'll just say one word


  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here Here Dave 120

    though, I would take a more realistic and perhaps more learned approach to this:

    Most people just pop their little pills, pushed onto them by the druggie druggie doctorers, they don't know what it does and what effect it could have, but I say let them do it. If they die, well that's more room and resource for the rest of us, isn't it Dave 120.

    And those people who wear helmets and fall off their bikes into soft hay, finding the weight of the helmet snaps their neck, well that is just their lookout isn't.

    Me, well I would never donate my organs, I am going out Viking burial style, hopefully in full view of a ward full of Soylent Greens desperate for organs. As to the burial music, I am leaning towards 'I Hope You Die' by The Bloodhound Gang.

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