Late last year, the UK Home Secretary Theresa May rammed the Psychoactive Substances Bill through Parliament. The bill effectively prohibited any and all substances not included on an approved list of exemptions. Concerns that the absence of a meaningful definition of the word “psychoactive” would render otherwise legal substances – such as perfume and air fresheners – illegal, was secondary to the concern that unregulated legal highs were potentially being sold to young adults.
The Home Office actively ignored the warnings of its own council, and seemed determined to do anything and everything in its power to stamp out this unregulated evil. Efforts were made to reason with representatives from the Home Office. High-profile gay groups lobbied for an exemption on Poppers, the drug of choice among gay men (from what I hear). The advisory body for Christian and Jewish churches in England even had to be reassured that incense could still be used in religious services.
Anyone capable of understanding the implications of a law that doesn’t contain a working definition of the very thing it is purporting to ban, mourned the passing of the Psychoactive Substances Bill earlier this year. Well, it appears there is now reason to celebrate. The Home Office has reportedly delayed putting the law into practice while it hammers out the details. That’s going to require some hammer.
The New Psychoactive Substances Act has passed through Parliament, received Royal Ascent and was due to come into force 6th April 2016. However, it has been postponed ‘indefinitely’ after it was pointed out by the police that it is unenforceable.