Users of newly criminalised drugs, Spice and Mamba, face arrest as West Midlands Police raises awareness of a law change, classing synthetic cannabis as a Class B controlled drug.

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 has been changed to include synthetic cannabinoids, a substance which mimics the effects of cannabis and are more commonly known as Spice and Mamba.

The drugs are believed to be commonly used, particularly among young people and those who are vulnerable, and many people could unwittingly be committing an offence, unaware of the change in legislation.

Chief Inspector Simon Inglis (pictured), who is the force lead for drugs and new psychoactive substances, said: “This law change makes Spice and Mamba controlled as Class B drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA).

“Until recently such products were covered by the Psychoactive Substances Act, which was introduced last year, that made production and supply of such products criminal offences but possession was still not illegal.

“All of that has now changed with the revised legislation and the key thing for people to know is that possession of these substances is now a crime, meaning users face arrest and prosecution if they have it in their possession – just like any other controlled drug.

“Any change in the law takes time to bed in and for awareness to grow, however people who routinely carry these drugs need to change their ways – and quick.

“We will of course seek to help and support those who use these products, as we are very aware of the addictive nature of these substances and the serious harm they can cause, therefore we are keen to break the pattern of behaviour of those buying and using them.

“Those involved in the production and supply of these drugs, will continue to face robust activity to disrupt their activity as we seek to shut down the manufacture and supply chains across the region.”

The reclassification follows expert advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on the harms associated with these substances which are similar to drugs already controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

For the facts on drugs and new psychoactive substances visit the www.talktofrank.com website.