Call for the drug 'spice' to be reclassified from class B to class A
Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott has joined calls from other PCCs across England and Wales for the Home Office to address growing concerns about the emerging drug known as ‘spice’.
Synthetic cannabinoid substances, which are commonly known by the name spice, are a growing concern for police forces across the UK – as they cause users to exhibit highly unpredictable, and often extremely aggressive behaviour. The drug was also linked to at least 16 deaths in 2016 in England and Wales.
Currently spice is a class B drug, as it shares a number of chemical similarities with cannabis. However, the physical and psychological effects are far more extreme than those associated with cannabis, with the effects being far more like heroin – a class A drug.
Mr Scott, along with 19 other PCCs, has written to the Home Office calling on spice to be reclassified as a class A drug – which would mean that more support would become available for those addicted, and the sentences for those convicted of dealing the drug would be much higher.
Commenting following the sending of the letter, Mr Scott said:
'These are dangerous substances that cause real harm – not just to the individuals using them, but also the vulnerable people who are exploited to sell them in our communities.
'These drugs are currently classified as class B, alongside drugs like cannabis – but I believe that the time is right to look again and reclassify spice as a class A drug.
'This would mean longer sentences, of up to seven years and an unlimited fine for possession, and potentially life imprisonment and an unlimited fine for those who deal.
'We need this evil substance off our streets, alongside those who sell it receiving lengthy prison sentences.
'The effects of spice have been well-documented in the media nationally and as Police and Crime Commissioners we believe the Government needs to take a closer look at what can be done to deter and prevent those selling it and support those dependent on it.'