Gordon Brown has committed himself to taking “immediate action” on the legal drug behind a spate of deaths if advisors recommend outlawing the so-called ‘legal high’.
The Prime Minister’s comments follow an indication by Les Iversen, the Government’s chief drugs advisor, that he may suggest mephedrone be outlawed as a Class B drug.
However, critics claim that Mr Brown’s pledge for an immediate ban may be undermined by EU bureaucracy.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday Mr Brown said: “We are very concerned specifically about the harms of mephedrone, and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is considering this and similar compounds as an absolute priority.
“We will receive their advice on March 29 and, subject to their advice, we will take immediate action.
“We have determined to act to prevent this evil hurting the young people of this country.”
Nigel Farage, spokesman for UKIP, said: “People haven’t been informed that our Government cannot ban mephedrone without asking the EU for a three-month notification period”.
He added: “This useless government needs to tell the EU to back-off from controlling or delaying British legislation”.
Mephedrone is a white or yellowish powder which can be snorted or taken in the form of pills and capsules.
It is legally sold as plant food, and six people in Britain have died after taking the drug.
Classifying the ‘legal high’ as a Class B drug would place the drug in the same category as cannabis and amphetamines.