Spice, which can cause users to freeze and experience psychotic episodes, is destroying lives and communities, critics say.
Formerly a ‘legal high’, the synthetic cannabinoid is now a Class B drug – meaning users face five years in prison and an unlimited fine.
Rosie Winterton MP called for a crackdown, while Stephen Doughty MP said the drug was being used in schools, and “endemic” in prisons.
The Daily Mirror found evidence of young people ‘openly selling’ the drug on street corners.
One shop owner, Zara Elliot, said: “It’s been terrifying. I see it day in day out. There was a guy foaming at the mouth, looking possessed and shouting nonsense.
“This woman and her two children were walking past. One child starts crying and was asking, ‘Mummy, mummy, is that a monster?’
“We see them slumped to the floor all the time”.
A former Spice user said the drug made him feel violent, yet unable to stop someone robbing him.
Chief Inspector Jayne Forrest described Spice as the “perfect storm”, “it’s cheap, highly addictive and widely available”.
However, she is advocating a trial system of counselling offenders rather than arresting them.
Last month, twenty Police and Crime Commissioners urged the Government to make Spice a Class A drug.
In a letter to ministers, the Police chiefs branded the Spice epidemic the “most severe public health issue” the UK has faced in decades.
They wrote: “Our concerns not only lie with the devastating effects spice has on its users but also the wider negative impacts felt by their families, communities and emergency services.”