Mansfield MP Ben Bradley has welcomed the news that the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs will conduct a full and detailed review of the classification of psychoactive drugs like Mamba and Spice, following his campaign on the subject.
The MP wrote to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs last month to highlight his concerns regarding these synthetic cannabis drugs, and has raised the issue regularly in the House of Commons.
He is also holding a Westminster Hall debate on reclassification this coming Tuesday.
In a letter to Mr Bradley the Chair of the Advisory Council, Dr Owen Bowden-Jones stated that having previously advised the Home Office to make these drugs Class B, the Council is to undertake a detailed review of the evidence surrounding the use of these drugs, with a report due in July 2019.
The MP said: “I was really pleased to hear back from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs this week after I asked them to consider the law around the classification of Mamba and Spice.
“In response they’ve said they are starting a thorough review of the policy and will produce a report in the summer.
“I hope that the advisory council will look seriously at reclassification of these drugs, which are far more comparable with Class A drugs like Heroin and Cocaine in terms of their impact than they are with Class B Cannabis.
“I believe reclassification would help give local Police the power to properly tackle drug dealers, help to keep residents safe and our high street free from intimidating groups of drug users. It is great news that they are going to look at this properly.”
The MP has said he had to explain to his child why mamba and spice users were passed out on the street after taking mamba or spice.
The drug is a synthetic cannaboid – a chemical made to act like the active part of cannabis. It can be swallowed or smokes, and caused users to fall into an unconscious or ‘zombie-like’ state.
It is prevalent among homeless people due to its cheap price at around £3.50 a wrap.
He said: “I’ve had to explain to my four-year-old why there are people passed out on the ground in the Market Square. That’s not a nice thing to have to do.
“It’s so cheap that I’ve found bags of it lying around on the street. It’s so cheap that people don’t even care.”
The move follows a debate in Nottinghamshire County Council initiated by councillor Jason Zadrozny, who is the leader of Ashfield District Council, and represents the Ashfields ward for the Ashfield Independents. the council voted to send a letter to all the county’s MPs, asking them to put pressure on the government to reclassify the drugs.