Disappointment as drug is not banned
THE family of young father Chris Scott are disappointed that the Home Office has still not banned the legal high that killed him.
The 23-year-old died last July after taking synthetic drug, alpha-methyltriptamine – AMT – in the form of a little green bill stamped with a US dollar symbol.
The father-of-three from Park South died from multiple organ failure after trying the drug with friends he met up with at Buckhurst Fields.
Following the inquest into his death last November, coroner David Ridley sent a report to the Minister of State For Crime Prevention, Norman Baker, asking him to consider adding the drug to the list of narcotics banned under the Misuse Of Drugs Act 1971.
A response was expected from the Home Office by January 26, and when the letter finally arrived last week the news was not as had been hoped.
It said that AMT had still not been banned, but that the department was reviewing the guidance and expected the next review to include recommendations about the drug.
But it gave no guarantee about whether or not it would continued to be a legal high.
Chris’ father Mike Scott, 48, said: “I have read it a couple of times and I can’t make out what it says.
“It seems to say one thing and then it says another.
“It basically says ‘I am pleased to inform you that we’re doing nothing.’ “The Home Office was meant to reply by the 26th of last month and we have had to wait until now to hear that they aren’t doing anything anyway.”
In the letter sent to the coroner and seen by the Adver, MP Mr Baker explained the work that had been done to examine AMT.
He said: “I am pleased to inform you that on 12 December, I wrote to the Advisory Council On The Misuse Of Drugs, our independent experts, to commission it to keep the generic group definitions we use in the 1971 Act under regular review and fully up to date.
“Due to a slight chemical modification, AMT falls outside the definition for the Class A tryptamine group of drugs.
“The first part of this advice, which is expected to include recommendations, for AMT, will be completed this year.”
Mike wants to see more done to get the drug off the streets.
He said: “There is legislation for drugs to be put on a temporary ban before they go for a review and decide whether to add it to the Misuse Of Drugs Act.
“I want them to put AMT on a temporary ban, then review it to see if they might put a permanent ban on it, not review it first.
“They’ve got to understand that while they are taking all this time over it people are being killed because of this.”
Coroner David Ridley declined to comment on the response from the Home Office.