Tory MP Mike Freer: Government must ‘hold off’ plans to ban poppers
Conservative MP Mike Freer has caused for the government to reconsider an impending ban on poppers.
Home Secretary Theresa May is currently pushing ahead with legislation which would tackle legal highs by implementing a blanket ban on the sale of “psychoactive substances” – with those found guilty of selling them facing up to seven years in jail.
Under the legislation, the drugs commonly known as poppers would be made illegal alongside substances such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas).
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) and the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee both recommended that poppers – commonly used among men engaging in anal sex – should be exempt from the ban, but the government has opted to push ahead regardless.
In a statement to PinkNews, Conservative MP Mike Freer – the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV/AIDS – called for the plans to be halted, ahead of the bill coming before Parliament next week.
He called on the Government to “pause the banning of poppers” until further research is undertaken.
Mr Freer said that given the ACMD’s repeated warnings, the government should exempt poppers from the Psychoactive Substances bill until it can in investigate.
He called on the government to “hold off on a ban” on poppers until it has “an opportunity to investigate in detail the health effects of using poppers”.
However, he said that dependent on the outcome of the investigation, the Government would “reserve the right to impose a ban”.
Professor Les Iversen, Chair of the ACMD, has previously warned that criminalising poppers could do more harm than good.
The Psychoactive Substances bill is set to come before the Commons on January 20.