The Unintended Consequences of Prohibitionist Policies - Mephedrone

Mephedrone is the common name for 4-methylmethcathinone. This is a synthetic derivative of cathinone, first synthesized in 1929, and largely forgotten until the early 2000s when Israeli scientists working for an insecticide company started experimenting with cathinones as octopamine analogues to disrupt the brain activity of aphids so make them less damaging to plants. Mephedrone  …


New Zealand revises sentencing framework for methamphetamine offences

Dr James Foulds, Consultant forensic psychiatrist, Christchurch New Zealand Methamphetamine smoking is the commonest form of stimulant use in New Zealand. Asian importation has increased recently, and the drug has got much cheaper. However, despite harsh sanctions, dealing remains attractive for many people- including those who sell the drug to fund their own use. Until  …


“Ravaged by drugs”? Let’s spread facts, not fear; science, not stigma

Today the Mail, Telegraph and others have been featuring the vile and dehumanising “More than Meth” campaign, which invites us to gasp and be disgusted by the faces of Americans arrested for drug related offenses. The campaign shows mugshots of individuals chronologically as their appearance changes. Unsurprisingly, the ghoulish coverage of this stigmatising campaign omits  …