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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

December 23, 2009: 'Legal Highs' Banned

A range of former 'legal highs’ including GBL, BZP and man-made chemicals sprayed on herbal smoking products such as 'Spice’ are now illegal. As part of the government's agenda for tacking ‘legal highs’, the substances now banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 include:

  1. chemical solvent GBL (Gamma-Butyrolactone) and a similar chemical – which are converted into GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate) in the body and often used as ‘club drugs’ – are now controlled as Class C drugs when intended for human consumption
  2. synthetic cannabinoids – man-made chemicals sprayed on herbal smoking products such as ‘Spice’, which act on the body in a similar way to cannabis but can be far more potent, are now controlled as Class B drugs alongside cannabis
  3. BZP (Benzylpiperazine) and related piperazines, which are stimulants, similar to amphetamine, are now controlled as Class C drugs.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said:

'We are cracking down on so called ‘legal highs’ which are an emerging threat, particularly to young people. That is why we are making a range of these substances illegal from today with ground- breaking legislation which will also ban their related compounds.

'We are sending out a clear message to anyone who is thinking about experimenting with them, particularly over the festive period, that not only are they putting themselves in danger they will also be breaking the law.'

In addition, 15 anabolic steroids, testosterone-like products often used by sports people and increasingly being used by the general public for their growth promoting properties, are to be controlled as Class C drugs, alongside two growth promoters.

The control of these substances follows advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). The ACMD continue to look at the use of so called ‘legal highs’ as a priority and will report back to the government on the cathinones in 2010.

Gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL) and its like chemical 1,4-Butanediol (1,4-BD) are converted into GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) in the body. GBL is a colourless, oily liquid with a weak odour. Both substances can reduce inhibitions, cause nausea, reduced heart rate and even lead to death. Both are particularly dangerous when taken with alcohol and other depressant substances.

Benzylpiperazine (BZP) and related piperazines are man-made stimulants which have similar but less potent properties to amphetamine. They can cause a rush of energy, agitation, vomiting and headaches. They can come in many shapes and forms, including pills and powders.

Synthetic cannabinoids are man-made chemicals that mimic the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis. They can be sprayed on herbal smoking products such as ‘Spice’.

Oripavine, an alkaloid found in poppy straw of the opium poppy which can be converted into thebaine and used in the production of semi-synthetic opiates, is also controlled under the 1971 Act as a Class C drug in accordance with our international obligations. There is presently no evidence of its misuse in the UK.