PARENTS of a teenager hospitalised after smoking a legal high have welcomed news it is to be made illegal.
Black Mamba, a synthetic cannabinoid said to mimic the effects of cannabis, is to be listed as a Class B drug.
Paul Clare and Tracey Robinson, both 34, called an ambulance for their 15-year-old son who collapsed and began hallucinating after smoking the drug in September.
The couple, of Kent Road, Blackpool, vowed to fight to have the drug banned to ensure no parent has to see their son in the horrifying state they did. Mr Clare said: “I wrote to my MP after it happened saying it should be made illegal because it was frustrating nobody could be prosecuted for selling such a dangerous thing to teenagers. I’m pleased it’s being made illegal.
“What happened was bad but something good has come out of it now.”
The Government announced synthetic cannabinoids, such as Black Mamba, and another legal high, methoxetamine, known as mexxy, are to be made illegal later this year.
The decision was taken after its independent drug experts, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, found them to pose serious risks to user’s health.
Two deaths have been linked to the use of methoxetamine this year, and people have been hospitalised after smoking Black Mamba.
Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 users of Class B substances face heavy fines and up to five years in prison. Suppliers can be jailed for up to 14 years.
Chief Insp Sam Mackenzie, of Blackpool Police, said: “We’re aware of the new legislation.
“We hope the move will act as a deterrent to people who are taking serious risks with their lives, often they do not know what they are taking and the drugs may contain harmful substances.”
Jeremy Browne, Minister for Crime Prevention, added: “The UK is addressing the harm caused by legal highs by outlawing substances which have the potential to cause serious harm.”