By J A J Richardson BA .. UK

Recently a friend wanted to buy some Jungle (on vinyl) for another friend’s birthday. So we dropped into one of our local music shops. Besides the

records and spray paint canisters on sale, we noticed that the shop was also now advertising Cannabis seeds. This got us thinking about the cross over between genres, as well as the way that ‘legal’ products are marketed in the UK; especially Fake (legal) Drugs or “Legal Highs” as they are sometimes known.

Many moons ago the only legal-high available in the UK besides tea, coffee, tobacco, alcohol and solvents, was a herbal smoking concoction called ‘Yuber Gold’. This product was normally advertised in Viz magazine and was mostly smoked by teenagers and/or people that couldn’t purchase any real Cannabis. Today, following the gradual decline of club-culture (and its associated ecstasy use) there are literally hundreds of legal-highs (fake drugs) available for young adults (like guinea-pigs) to test and try. Arguably fuelled by prohibition, in the absence of real narcotics to consume, this trend in sampling “designer- drugs” from online outlets and head-shops, without any prior knowledge of the product, is in fact in vogue.

There is also plenty of debate surrounding the UK Government’s stance in allowing such products to be sold “off-licence” originally. The health and safety of those young adults consuming such legal-highs remains  much an unknown. Especially when contrasted against more moderate traditional illegal-drugs – which scientists and

the government fully understand the consequences of.

During the 1990s the streets of the UK were awash with Acid (LSD), Speed (Amphetamine), Ecstasy (MDMA), Smack (Heroin), and to a lesser extent Coke  (Cocaine)  and Crack (Free Base Cocaine). Today in 2012 the streets of the UK are still saturated with Coke, Crack and Smack; yet with several fake (legal) drugs filling the gap in the lack of supply in Amphetamine, Acid, and Ecstasy. It would appear that our youths are being corralled towards a few limited options. No Drugs? Fake Drugs? or Hardcore Drugs?

Many of the legal-highs available today contain chemicals which are listed as not suitable for human consumption. It says so on the packet! The UK Government has banned several ‘legal-highs’ in the past few months/years; only for the Manufacturers to tweak the composition of the prod- uct just enough for it to register as a different chemical compound. Thus requiring re-analysis by the Government before banning it again. By-which time the youths will have switched onto the next chemical compound com- pletely . Just breaking down the chemical analysis of many of these fake drug products involves a degree in Chemistry -which few (if any) of the people smoking, eating, or sniffing such substances hold. Possibly because they are merely sheep following other online-sheep ; ignorant to the unknown long-term effects of such substances ; and / or they simply

didn’t know any better to begin with. At which point the Elders in the community need to regain a sense of respon- sibility and step in.

The death of several young adults, as a result of their “experimenting” with fake (legal) drugs, which neither themselves or the Government knew anything about at point of sale, is both saddening and neglectful. It would appear that completely Unqualified Legal Drug Dealers (head shop owners) are free to push an unknown quanti- ty of pills and powders into the online shopping baskets of our youths (?) To quote the name of a band at school… Shit Stinks! And the UK Government are in it up to their necks!

For as callous as the shop-seller is for pimping such fake drugs into the nostrils of our youth to begin with, they break no law in doing so. For as ignorant as the kids are for buy into the whole meow-meow trend at high cost to their wallets, they break no law (when over 18) in doing so. Yet  the Government makes LOTS of money,  ever time  a fake (legal) drug is sold over counter or online, via the Government’s system of tax.

In truth, such “legal-highs” do not expand the brain  in  the ways they claim to on the packet. Nor do they pro- vide the body with a natural source of stimulus. Much is placebo. In truth such chemicals tend to make people dumber than they were before they ingested them! Which is exactly the reason the UK Government is all too happy

to let youths continue destroying their lives with such substances.

Unlike the more traditional illegal hallucinogens and uppers, which have been tried and tested on millions of people (including youths) world wide, the modern scien- tifically engineered products may only hold a shelf-life of a few months – before they are completely withdrawn from sale. By which time the mind and body of an indi- vidual consuming such substances may be permanently and irreparably damaged!

Let’s face it, it doesn’t take a Rocket-Scientists to work  out that snorting plant food up the nose isn’t good for anyone; regardless of how high it might get you in the process! Hell, snorting bleach might be fun for a split sec- ond (NOTE: do NOT snort bleach kids!) My  point  is where does such madness end? With more deaths? With further prohibition on fake (legal) drugs? What nonsense! Who regulates such matters in society? Clearly NOT the UK Government or the retail outlets pushing this toxic filth into the minds and bodies of our young! We are NOT suggesting that Treating Yourself readers boycott all head-shops or get involved in any hardcore drug stuff! But we would advise all ages of Reader to stop playing about with potentially lethal substances.  Let  us all remember that just 1g of chemical is enough to con- taminate and pollute one billion litres of water! That’s approximately a small stream 30 miles long!

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