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Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Island plans to ban 'legal high'

Mephedrone
The drug can cause severe side effects

The Isle of Man government is working to make a fertiliser sold as a "legal high" illegal.

Recent warnings have been issued to parents over teenagers' use of Mephedrone, a fertiliser often referred to as "plant food".

It can be bought legitimately over the internet and is increasingly popular among youngsters on the island.

Home Affairs Minister Adrian Earnshaw said work was being carried on legislation to ban the substance.

Formulas change

Mr Earnshaw said: "In the last 12 months, the Island's treatment and support agencies have gone from reporting tiny numbers of alleged use of these legal highs to significant and perturbing levels of availability.

"I have been kept well informed by the police regarding their concerns and what is happening in the community as the problem has grown.

"The need for legislation has become clear although the focus has not been easy to target as the formula for these substances is simple to change and therefore hard to legislate against.

"It is important that we get this right and the legislation addresses the problems we are facing."

Drug-driving

Two weeks ago, a 21-year-old man from Ramsey was in court after taking mephedrone and driving.

He admitted driving while unfit through drugs, driving without a licence, driving without insurance and without consent of the car's owner.

Mephedrone, a white powder, is also known as "bubble" and is sold legally as a plant fertiliser.

Regular use can result in severe nosebleeds, nose burns, hallucinations, blood circulation problems, rashes, anxiety and paranoia, fits and delusions.



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SEE ALSO
Parents warned over 'legal high'
18 Dec 09 |  Isle of Man
Driver on plant food drug charge
12 Dec 09 |  Isle of Man
Police warn over plant feed drug
12 Dec 09 |  North Yorkshire
Warning over 'plant feeder' drug
01 Dec 09 |  Lancashire
Mephodrone 'a very potent drug'
30 Nov 09 |  Today

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