USERS of synthetic cannabis drugs Spice and Mamba face arrest following a change in the law.
West Midlands Police officers will now be able to arrest and prosecute people found in possession of the drugs after a change of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 now classes synthetic cannabis as a Class B controlled drug.
The drugs, known commonly as ‘spice’ and ‘mamba’, are believed to be commonly used among young people and those who are vulnerable.
Now West Midlands Police are warning many users could unwittingly commit an offence, unaware of the change in legislation.
Chief Inspector Simon Inglis, who is the force lead for drugs and new psychoactive substances, said: “Until recently such products were covered by the Psychoactive Substances Act, which was introduced last year, that made production and supply of such products criminal offences but possession was still not illegal.
“All of that has now changed with the revised legislation and the key thing for people to know is that possession of these substances is now a crime, meaning users face arrest and prosecution if they have it in their possession − just like any other controlled drug.
“Any change in the law takes time to bed in and for awareness to grow, however people who routinely carry these drugs need to change their ways − and quick.”
Ch Insp Inglis said officers will seek to help and support Spice and Mamba users to break their patters of behaviour and drug use.
But he warned those producing and supplying the would continue to come up against ‘robust’ police measures to disrupt their activity across the region.
The reclassification follows expert advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on the harms associated with these substances which are similar to drugs already controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
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