20 April 2010
The illegal drug mephedrone is to be made a class B substance following advice from the Island’s Misuse of Drugs Advisory Council.
The council met yesterday to discuss mephedrone, which is currently classified as a class C drug in Jersey, but as a class B in Guernsey.
In the States this morning (20 April 2010), Deputy Kevin Lewis of St. Saviour asked the Minister for Health and Social Services if the drug would be re-classified.
Deputy Anne Pryke said “I am pleased to have the opportunity to update the States on the actions we are taking in Jersey to tackle this important new health threat. The Misuse of Drugs Advisory Council has advised me that the drug should be re-classified, and I have accepted the advice."
The Health Minister will now ensure that the process begins to re-draft the relevant law. This should be a matter of a few weeks, rather than months.
Deputy Medical officer of Health, Dr Susan Turnball added “We were ahead of the UK and Guernsey in recognising the dangers of mephedrone and making it illegal in November last year. Sadly, since then, evidence about the dangers of this drug has been growing and this has led to the recommendation that is should be reclassified as class B.”
The side effect from taking mephedrone include panic attacks, sweating, fits or seizures, collapse, abnormal heart rhythms, paranoia and hallucinations. All these symptoms have been observed in Jersey in the past month.
Updated information about the dangers of mephedrone has being provided to secondary schools in the Island and to the Youth Enquiry Service.