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Law change makes it illegal to possess some synthetic drugs

Posted on 22nd February 2017

If you use some of the drugs that used to be called legal highs you’re now breaking the law.

The law changed twice last year and now most synthetic cannabinoids are Class B drugs.

Synthetic cannabinoids are chemicals that have been designed to affect the same parts of the brain as cannabis does. They are mixed with acetone and sprayed onto plant material to make them smokeable and sometimes the plant material is mildly hallucinogenic too.

Because of their makeup they are much stronger than cannabis itself, and our officers and hospital staff have dealt with numerous reports of people collapsing after taking them.

There’s a range of dozens of different substances used to make these drugs but they are often sold as Mamba, Annihilation or Spice. This means that you have no idea if the drug you buy today will be the same as the last one you took.

Nearly all these synthetic cannabinoids became Class B drugs when the law changed late last year, meaning that it is a criminal offence to possess them, supply them or possess them with intent to supply.

Our message to users is that you now risk a criminal record if you are caught in possession of synthetic cannabinoids and we will be enforcing the law rigorously.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.