Call to ban 'legal high' after woman's death

A "LEGAL-HIGH" drug linked with the recent death of woman should be outlawed, the Scottish Government said today.

Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing has written to the Home Office calling for mephedrone, commonly known as "Bubbles", to be banned.

Mr Ewing told MSPs yesterday: "We believe that the legal highs should be added to the list of illegal drugs. The sooner that happens the better."

A woman died at a house in Dunfermline last month after she was thought to have taken the drug, according to police.

A separate incident around the same time in Methil, Fife, involved seven people who had taken a substance known as "white magic", prompting Fife Police to issue a warning about dangers of taking legal highs.

Mr Ewing said: "I wrote to the Home Office last week to stress the importance of finding a solution to this. I'm of the view that these synthetic cathinones (a form of amphetamine] can be as harmful as any other illicit drug and therefore should fall under the Misuse of Drugs Act as soon as possible."

The Scottish Parliament has no power in this area. Responsibility for banning or re-classifying drugs lies with Westminster.

Mephedrone, a white powder, is sold legally as a plant fertiliser but is becoming popular among young people as a recreational drug.

Mr Ewing said the Scottish Government has included legal highs in its drug awareness campaign "Know The Score".

Dundee West MSP Joe Fitzpatrick claimed the drug Bubbles was a particular problem in the city and said the name itself was coined by the local evening paper.

"The use of mephedrone can cause adverse reactions and in extreme cases can actually cause the death of users," he said.

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