A Class of Its Own
When cannabis became a Class C drug, this enabled Blandshire Constabulary to scale down its response to the discovery of said drug in possession of someone. We started giving out 'street cautions', which is when you take the cannabis off the person, get them to sign an admission that they had it, and count it as a positive statistic towards Blandshire Constabulary's CRACKDOWN on illegal drug use. This was acceptable because Class C drug possession on that scale would attract such a small sentence it was considered better to deal with it without wasting hours of everyone's time in custody.
Now that cannabis is once again Class B, we deal with it in exactly the same way, because the alternative would drastically reduce our efficiency at dealing with drug offences.
Mephedrone has been classified as Class B. I'd like to tell you whether we plan to deal with it as a cannabis-sort-of-a-Class-B (confiscation and warning) or as an amphetamine-sort-of-a-Class-B (arrest and prosecution). But I can't tell you, because no one's told me. At least, if the email doesn't come tonight, they won't have told me. I don't even know what it looks like.
It's white powder, sarge, but I'm damned if I know what type.
I have however witnessed a wide variety of drug abuse, and the only drug that has ever scared the proverbial out of me is mephedrone. We once brought in a user roaring, foam sticking his hair to his head and splattered over his chin, his eyes lurching wildly like a caged creature. He wasn't drunk. He variously screamed, cackled, glared and relapsed into silence as he was booked in. During his constant supervision in custody, he screamed death threats to the sergeants, stripped naked and mimicked the movements of various sea creatures, and then got dressed again and abjectly apologised to everyone before threatening to rip out their throats once more. Several doctors despaired, saying he could not be mentally assessed until the effects of the drug were out of his system (mephedrone is supposed to last under an hour). Seventeen hours later, when I came back on duty, he was in exactly the same state. Apparently, he was quite a nice lad before that night. His parents were beside themselves.
I'm willing to bet if some of the proponents of mephedrone had seen this unfortunate boy, their views might have been a bit different. As usual, defence of the drug compares it to other more harmful substances, such as peanuts, alcohol and horse-riding, as if that's a basis for measuring all of life's hazards.
As usual, no one talking about it has actually experienced it at all. Except for this guy, who took his research to the logical extreme and quaffed a line of it in the name of science.
Having said all of that, I'm cynical about a knee-jerk law-change just weeks before a General Election. I'm cynical about the random classification of these drugs, and the lack of any real deterrent or sentencing if people do choose to use them.
If you're going to ban something, at least have a plan of how you're going to stop people using it.
'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.