British Ban on Legal High

All new "legal high" party drugs will be temporarily banned in Britain for the next 12 months.During the temporary ban, the police will be able to confiscate all suspected substances, such as, but not limited to, the new threat Ivory Wave, which is marketed as bath salts.

The UK Border Agency will be able to seize shipments entering the country of any suspected "legal high". The penalty for supply will be a maximum of 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine, but possession for personal use will not be a criminal offence.

Quick reaction

The UK government has announced that it will introduce 12-month bans on suspected substances, so that it can react quickly to the changing drugs market, reportsThe Home Office UK Boarder Agency. Under new legislation, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs will identify suspected substances and conduct a comprehensive review of their harms before advising whether they should be banned permanently. Substances such as BZP and GBL, which have been linked to a number of deaths, are likely to be permanently banned.

The ban is an attempt to stop the surge in deaths seen recently among young people using what they believe to be harmless substances as they are not prohibited by law. At the moment, these "legal highs" are sold openly across the UK and on the internet, but ministers say they are an "emerging threat" according to the BBC.

Permanent ban?

The Home Office Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs are currently debating a permanent ban similar to the Irish criminal ban on "legal high" party drugs from May this year, reports The Telegraph.

James Brokenshire, Minister for Crime Prevention, said:

─ The drugs market is changing and we need to adapt current laws to allow us to act more quickly. The temporary ban allows us to act straight away to stop new substances gaining a foothold in the market, and help us tackle unscrupulous drug dealers trying to get round the law by peddling dangerous chemicals to young people.

The Home Office will begin an awareness campaign to highlight the dangers of "legal high" drugs to university students as the shool term begins this month.