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Crime

Police apologise after accidentally ‘seizing’ legal poppers

Nick Duffy May 26, 2016

A police force has been forced to apologise, after they seized poppers under a drug ban – despite them being explicitly exempt from the law.

The Psychoactive Substances Act came into force today, introducing a blanket  ‘legal highs’ ban that would prohibit the sale of drugs.

An initial draft of the law had included poppers (alkyl nitrites), commonly used by gay men to help relax the anal sphincter muscles for anal sex.

However, after warnings that banning poppers would further stigmatise the gay community, the government intervened to exempt poppers from the law.

However, Sussex Police apparently did not get the memo.


The force tweeted that it had ‘seized’ poppers from shops under the new law.

Plenty of people were on hand to point out the drugs are legal.

Like, lots.

Incredibly, the police continued to insist they had done nothing wrong.

But eventually someone thought to actually, you know, check.

Then they suddenly deleted all their tweets and tried to apologise.

A follow-up post says: “Crawley Police can announce that the ‘poppers’ were seized in error in good faith.

“All goods will be returned to the shops with apologies.”

After experts warned the ban was regressive earlier this year, Home Office minister Karen Bradley had said: “Having given due consideration, the Government agrees with [Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs] advice and interpretation.”

“We will ask law enforcement agencies to be guided by our agreement with your advice.

“Our acceptance of your advice brings to an end the review process we were undertaking in parallel to consider the case for a bespoke exemption for the alkyl nitrites group under the Act on the basis of their beneficial and relationship effects.”

Conservative backbencher Crispin Blunt had outed himself as a user of poppers in a Parliamentary debate, while another, Michael Fabricant, also admitted to “trying” the drugs – though not for gay sex.

More: ban, Crawley Police, Gay, LGBT, police, poppers, Sex, sussex police

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