Britain’s head shops are safe for another month (Photograph: Phil Hossack)
Britain's Ban On Drugs Has Been Delayed Over Psychoactive Confusion
Britain's ban on legal highs has been postponed for at least a month because the Government can't quite figure out what psychoactive substances actually are.
The Psychoactive Substances Act was expected to come into effect on April 6. It aims to ban any substance capable of producing psychoactive effects – excluding alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.
However, following claims that its current definition of psychoactive substance is confusing and unenforceable, the government has had to put the ban on hold, the Home Office has said.
“We need to ensure the readiness of all the activity necessary to enable the smooth implementation of the legislation across the UK and to support law enforcement,” Karen Bradley told MPs on Easter Sunday.
For this reason May 1 will be the earliest possible option for its introduction – if at all.
Earlier this month it was announced that poppers would be excluded from the act after an advisory council on the misuse of drugs ruled that it did not have a direct effect on the brain.
Legal highs like poppers (made up of some of the same nitrites used in air fresheners) are believed to be half of the reason behind the ban.
As people were quick to point out though, things such as perfumes, flowers, eye-drops and incense sticks would also be prohibited under the proposed ban.
The Republic of Ireland attempted to bring in similar legislations a few years ago but there has been few prosecutions so far as it's difficult to prove whether or not a substance is psychoactive.
Police Scotland and the Scottish government also suggest defining psychoactive substances might be problematic, claiming that each case would require evidence from a medical expert to prove psychoactivity.
Despite overwhelming confusion, Hampshire police have still written to head shop owners warning them to ensure their products do not contain banned or harmful substances.
By Matthew Kirby, published on 30/03/2016