Nick Smith MP Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent
NICK Smith MP has welcomed news on the banning of two “legal highs” in the wake of his campaign against mephedrone.
Mr Smith led a delegation to the Home Office in March calling for amongst other things a quicker system of UK drug classification, as mephedrone manufacturers regularly create new compounds to avoid the law.
Now with the news of a year-long ban on NBOMe and Benzo Fury while drugs experts assess their impact, Mr Smith hopes it will set a strong precedent moving forward.
Mr Smith said: “When our delegation met Jeremy Browne MP, Minister of State for Crime Prevention, we strongly pushed for a speedy response to drugs such as Mephedrone and now we see such a response in action.
“This does not solve the problems of drug abuse but it goes some way to eradicating a ‘safer’ breed of drugs to take if you want to avoid conviction.
“This is about protecting people from the disastrous toll drugs can take on lives in our communities, and I applaud this action.
“Now they have tightened up their stance on drugs, the Government must now go back and take another look at the many forms of mephedrone -; and find a long-term solution to this long-term problem.”
Blaenau Gwent has been hard hit by mephedrone use, with All-Wales police task force Operation Tarian stating the drug is twice as prevalent in Wales as it was 12 months ago.
Jeff O’Reilly, a former deputy head of Tredegar Comprehensive, presented his extensive research to the Minister in March.
Commissioned by the Blaenau Gwent based multi-agency group PACE, his research was the result of a year of work talking to youngsters in the area.
He stressed the need for raising awareness through education and a quicker system of UK drug classification.
As part of the delegation, the Deputy Police Commissioner Phil Harris also called for improvements to legally recognised field tests, with current tests unable to detect the drug