Page last updated at 09:33 GMT, Tuesday, 25 May 2010 10:33 UK

Student in Sussex filmed selling mephedrone

Student
The dealer, who called himself Louis, handed over two bags of Mephedrone

A Sussex student has been secretly filmed selling the banned Class B drug mephedrone to an undercover reporter from BBC South East Today.

The journalist purchased two grams of the drug for £55 from a dealer on the University of Sussex campus.

When the dealer, who called himself Louis, was approached by the BBC, he said: "If this is the problem it causes I'll definitely get rid of it."

Sussex university said drug-dealing was not tolerated on the campus.

Another BBC researcher was offered drugs for sale by two other people who claimed to be students.

Mephedrone was made illegal on 16 April on the advice of the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs.

'Sell it on'

When the journalist bought the drugs, the deal took place outside a bar on the university campus during the day.

Louis made it clear to the reporter that he was aware he was breaking the law and went on to suggest he had sold almost £1,500 worth of the drug in a week.

He handed over two bags of mephedrone and said he could provide more whenever required.

There is no evidence that drugs are any greater problem for Sussex than elsewhere in the UK
University of Sussex

But when the reporter revealed who he was, Louis said he knew the drug was illegal and could not explain his actions.

An undercover researcher was also offered mephedrone from a woman claiming to be a student who told her she was going to buy "10 to 20 grams from Cambridge" and would be able to "sell it on".

And a man who said he was a student at the university asked the researcher if she would like to buy any ecstasy, acid, ketamine or the prescription drug ritalin.

In a statement, a university spokesman said: "The University of Sussex is of course concerned to hear about this case. We do not tolerate drug-dealing on campus.

"Since mephedrone was made a banned substance we have had no similar cases at Sussex."

The statement said the university was awaiting further information from the BBC before working with the police to take appropriate action.

'No drugs safe'

It continued: "Sussex generally is a very safe campus. There is no evidence that drugs are any greater problem for Sussex than elsewhere in the UK.

"We take a zero-tolerance approach to drug-dealing and will continue to ensure that our students are fully aware of this.

"We also take the view that no recreational drugs can be regarded as safe - something our vice-chancellor has made very clear in a recent interview with the student newspaper."

The laboratory-produced drug mephedrone has a similar effect to amphetamines, ecstasy or cocaine. But it also causes nausea, palpitations and vomiting.

It can also cause anxiety and paranoia and carries a risk of overstimulating the heart and circulation, and overstimulating the nervous system to cause fits.

The drug has been linked to at least 22 deaths, but there has been no conclusive scientific proof yet that it has been the cause of any of them.

Anyone found carrying Mephedrone could face up to five years' imprisonment, while dealers could receive up to 14 years.



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