Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Poppers: Fighting The Law With Pedantry

Poppers should not be banned under the blanket prohibition of legal highs due to come into effect next month because they are relatively harmless and not a psychoactive substance, the government’s top advisers have said.

The proposed ban on poppers – alkyl nitrites– sparked an outcry in the gay community. Poppers are especially popular among gay men, and used to prepare for sex and enhance sexual pleasure.

The former Conservative justice minister Crispin Blunt said he used the drug and denounced the move as “fantastically stupid”.

Due to come into force next month, the Psychoactive Substances Act will criminalise the sale of the drug, but not those who buy it. But the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has now written to the home secretary, Theresa May, telling her that poppers do not have a direct effect on the brain and so “do not fall within the scope of the current definition of a psychoactive substance” in the new law banning legal highs.

“The ACMD’s consensus view is that a psychoactive substance has a direct action on the brain and that substances having peripheral effects, such as those caused by alkyl nitrites, do not directly stimulate or depress the central nervous system.”


Good to see Attitude writing in defence of this chemsexy fun.

Fagburn said this looked likely to collapse under the weight of its own contradictions last year.

Interesting to see what actually happens.

PS The Guardian profile John Addy

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