Centre wants to ban Mephedrone | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Centre wants to ban Mephedrone

The Central government is keen on banning Mephedrone, popularly known as Meph, which creates the same effect as cocaine or ecstasy, but is cheaper and easily available in India.

mumbai Updated: Jan 27, 2015 21:54 IST
HT Correspondent

The Central government is keen on banning Mephedrone, popularly known as Meph, which creates the same effect as cocaine or ecstasy, but is cheaper and easily available in India.

Additional solicitor general Anil Singh on Tuesday told the Bombay high court (HC) that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has made a recommendation to prohibit the stimulant, which has been banned in the US, UK and several other European nations. The recommendation is being processed at the ministerial level, Singh told the division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice BP Colabawalla.

Singh was responding to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a city-based medical professional, Dr Yusuf Merchant, seeking direction to the Centre to impose a ban on the sale of Mephedrone by including the intoxicant in the schedule of psychotropic substances under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

In his PIL, Merchant stated he runs a reputed de-addiction centre and has seen several patients in the age group of 16-26 addicted to Mephedrone. According to him, Mephedrone synthesis was reported way back in 1923, but it resurfaced in 2003, after an underground chemist published its details on the Internet. It later became available in Europe, but is a more recent phenomenon in India.

Merchant has claimed the intoxicant is easily available in India and many websites list it as a plant supplement. It is also being sold as a research chemical or bath salt. He said the abuse of Meph is likely to spread quickly in India, as it is available in bulk, creates the same effect as cocaine or ecstasy and is a lot cheaper. According to him, while cocaine is apparently sold at Rs3,000 a gram, Meph is available at Rs100-150 per gm.

According to the PIL, Meph users experience increased energy and self-confidence and become talkative, especially with the opposite sex. “The sense of euphoria is immense and combined with mental and physical stimulation there is what is called sensory distortion and the consumer enters a different universe,” it states.

The court has posted the PIL for further hearing on March 5.