What is monkey dust? Government considering making drug that ‘ruins lives’ Class A

The UK Government has asked an advisory panel to look into making money dust a Class A drug.

The government is considering reclassifying the synthetic drug monkey dust so that users and dealers face longer sentences if caught.

The class B substance has effects similar to those of amphetamines, cocaine and MDMA, and its use has grown in the UK. Technically called methylenedioxy-α-pyrrolidinohexiophenone (or MDPHP), its use has become associated with violent behaviour, leading to headlines around “zombie face eating” and “hulk-like strength”.

A Class B drug comes with a sentence for possession of up to five years in prison, while supplying it can result in up to 14 years in prison. Possession of Class A substances can come with up to seven years in prison - and up to life for supplying.

According to Frank, an online drugs information platform established by the NHS, the drug is made from the chemical cathinone, which is cousin to the amphetamine family of drugs.

Monkey dust - ‘antisocial behaviour and misery’

Jack Brereton, Conservative MP for Stoke-On-Trent South where monkey dust use has been prominent, said: “Monkey dust creates antisocial behaviour and misery that does not belong in any decent society.”

Users have been said to have extreme feelings of anxiety and paranoia, and lower inhibitions which leads to risky behaviours.

Monkey dust and the government

The government has asked the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to review the drug’s classification and consider whether making it a Class A drug would keep communities safer by imposing stricter penalties on users and suppliers

Chris Philip, minister for crime and policing, said: “These synthetic drugs ruin lives, families and neighbourhoods. Made in labs and pumped into our communities, our drug laws must keep pace with their evolution.

“We are tackling the supply and demand for illegal substances to reduce addiction and its effects, including driving down crime and antisocial behaviour. I look forward to receiving the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs’ advice on combatting synthetic cathinones in Staffordshire and across the UK.”

Nitrous oxide

The government announced in March that possession of nitrous oxide - often known as laughing gas or nos - will become a criminal offence as part of a crackdown on antisocial behaviour.

Critics say that further criminalising drugs makes their use more dangerous, stigmatising drug addiction and discouraging people from seeking help.

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