British Government bans absolutely everything
In a story that would look more at home in The Onion or Daily Mash, the UK government is in the process of passing a bill that will ban anything “psychoactive”:
The Bill would make it an offence to produce, supply, offer to supply, possess with intent to supply, import or export psychoactive substances; that is, any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect. The maximum sentence would be seven years’ imprisonment.
Personal possession however will not be criminalized.
The reason for this blanket ban is that every time the government banned a legal high in the past, the drug designers would simply alter the molecule a little bit to get around the rules. Every time the government banned a drug, its next iteration was already waiting to step forward. In the end they got fed up and just banned everything.
There is a problem with the word “psychoactive” in that, depending upon your definition, pretty much anything external to the human body could be considered psychoactive — e.g. breathing air at a higher or lower rate affects mood and metabolism. This article sums that side of the problem up nicely.
Then there are the other objections such as this bill being yet another large step into the realm of police state. Other blogs cover those issues far better than I can.
I’m just going to talk about how this ban might affect you. Firstly, you’ve got to realize the breadth of the ban. It will cover things you perhaps didn’t even consider. For example, all nootropics are going to be banned — even ones that don’t really do anything, like piracetam. I’m not sure what will happen to things like St. John’s Wort — there are some exceptions to the ban, but they are not very clear:
Substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, food and medical products, would be excluded from the scope of the offence, as would controlled drugs, which would continue to be regulated by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
St. John’s Wort is currently a “supplement” — so does that make it “food”, and therefore exempt? There are hundreds of good supplements available in supermarkets and pharmacies which could all be considered psychoactive, so this is all rather vague. My hunch however is that all of those will be left alone — the government is really just going after the legal highs market, and can’t be bothered to word legislation correctly any more since it knows it can basically do whatever it wants anyway.
The ban will not particularly affect me. My metaprogramming skills have now reached the point where drugs are largely pointless. For example, I can now generate pretty much any emotional state at will. There are however two drugs I will miss being able to buy legally:
- Phenibut. It is just the hands-down greatest anti-depressant, anti-anxiety and meditation-enhancing drug I have ever come across. If I had to name my favourite drug of all time, it would be this times ten. If I want an awesome chilled-out night, or an effortless meditation session with minimal mental effort, I will just take a gram of phenibut and enjoy it with abandon. I personally am going to order in a huge bulk shipment, perhaps a kilogram, before the ban comes into effect.
- General-purpose dopamine stimulant. There are times when you need to get stuff done but you’re already wiped out and coffee just isn’t doing it for you any more. At these times I love nothing more than turning to a dopaminergic psychostimulant such as ethylphenidate. The same applies if I want to go out and be sociable but am just too tired. My stimulant of choice is 3,4-CTMP, which is possibly the strongest psychostimulant in the world, and which I hinted at in this post. Just 5mg will keep me awake for about two days. I literally had to use a digital microscale to weigh out doses initially, and had to remind myself not to lick my fingers after doing so as the accumulated dust would have amounted to another dose. 3,4-CTMP was made illegal earlier this year when the UK government sadly banned the phenidate family which includes 3,4-CTMP, ethylphenidate and methylphenidate (a.k.a. Ritalin). I bought about a thousand doses for myself just before the ban came into effect.
My advice to anyone in the UK who currently uses drugs or supplements is to research whether or not they are likely to be banned and, if unsure, assume that they are and purchase a large bulk order now while you still can.