An almost unanimous decision was taken by Member States at the United Nations last week to control mephedrone under the UN Drug Control Conventions. With 47 votes for and only 1 country abstaining, the decision to control mephedrone was reached on Friday 13th March 2015.
Date: 19th March 2015
A UK-led proposal to internationally control the drug mephedrone was adopted by the United Nations’ (UN) Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) on Friday 13th March in Vienna. Mephedrone is already controlled as a Class B substance in the UK. This international initiative is part of a concerted range of action taken by the government to respond to the challenges caused by New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) – known as ‘legal highs’.
This is the first time a New Pyschoactive Substance (NPS) has been controlled by all United Nation members and the UK government has said in their statment that it is “therefore an important milestone in international action taken to combat the rise in dangerous and harmful NPS“.
Mephedrone was recommended to the CND for control by the World Health Organisation following its review of the substance in 2014. Mephedrone has no medical, industrial or scientific use and has been linked to 60 deaths in the UK alone between 2009 and 2014.
Fay Watson, of EURAD, who was in the room at the UN when the decision took place said: “Despite calls from a few countries to re-think how new psychoactive substances (otherwise known as legal highs) are classified, the vote on mephedrone shows that there is overwhelming support for the UN Drug Control Conventions in controlling new drugs. In the case of mephedrone, the case was quite straight forward, the WHO had recommended its international control based on its harm to health and mephedrone itself has no other medical or scientific purposes”.