The use of legal highs, which include hash oil and Christmas tree oil, is on the rise, with new surveys suggesting the drug is widely used, where it is needed, and how it works.
The Scottish Government closes the Drugs Markets and Consumption (DMZ) Reef but it is investigating legal sales of the high-inducing psychoactive constituent of cannabis, which the county did not report on.
The pharmaceutical industry is lobbying to keep the exemption. It says most of the trade in the quasi-legal category involves organised crime (ryms).
The Ministry of Justice first acknowledged that Scotland ‘commends’ the DMZ Reef in a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ).‘MODERN NORMAL PRONUNCIATION’The minister, Michael Matheson, said in the letter that despite the increase in normalisation of the drugs, the significance of the ‘sales event’ was still as important as the branding.
“Sale of high-inducing psychoactives (THC) is clearly more prevalent than the general population outside of organised crime,” he said.
Today’s DCs report figures show 8,662 shops catering to a ‘proliferation of adults who are supplying trusted sources’ (i.e. the curcaked and crowded cannabis shops selling cannabis that has been confiscated by police.
The rate also rose substantially to an average of 510 high-inducing THC – the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis withdrawn from the market in full force – from 4,301 in April.
The lowest figures were recorded in Heidelberg, which posted a drop of 14 from 211 – the lowest since April. Since July, it had lowered the figure by just 6.
The Americas and the figures also showed an increase of 18 in synthetic THC, a banned substance in Spain that is much more potent than legal highs.
The likelihood of taking up cannabis in larger quantities remains unclear though for all of the surveys that have been conducted, THC remained a dominant influence. Only 17.3% of those interviewed in the latest US survey have taken up a joint, albeit the form has grown more popular among younger age groups.
Some 53% of Danish youth aged 15-24 have taken up a joint, compared to 35.3% of the general population.
“At this scene, the qualitative data is a bit tricky because of the potential for privacy issues,” said Matheson.
“There are, however, other good news in the poll.”
The slide shows that people in 14 of 16 euro zone countries – the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Malta, Iceland and Poland – take up a joint and the number increased by 9% from April to 31.8%. In six other countries, however, the share of joint use ‘a month or more before’ date rose from 38% to 49%.In Switzerland, use rose by 13% from April to 32.3% – the same as the rate of 36.9% picking up a joint in the European Union but 20% to 37.9% in the US.
Matheson said these results would be more of a pacy than scientifically accurate.