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By Alan Bolwell on 28.2.2024

MMCat-alising Social Reform

It used to be all the cool kids got together to wrap small nuggets of golden MDMA in Rizla and head out on the town for a night of jittery jaws, overenthusiastic smoking, and gushy emotional honesty. That well ran dry when the cooking agent for MDMA (methylpropan-2-amine) was recently made illegal. In 2007 this made it more cost effective to import large quantities of cheap drugs from China.

The scene drug of the moment is Mephodrone, also known as MMCat, Meow Meow, Meph, Fert, General Meow, 4MMC, or Mr. Mugabe – the legality of this feline affiliated stimulant is currently under scrutiny from her majesty’s finest. Sold relatively cheaply on the Internet as bath salts or plant fertiliser, MMCat is replacing MDMA as the party drug of choice so quickly that taking it is almost as scene as listening to Dubstep.

I kept an eye out for anyone silly enough to comment from first hand experience about this drug, and last week I found a winner. I was at a party when an old friend walked in the door with pupils like black holes, set in a face like a collapsing universe. We talked at great length about politics, drug culture, and his personal experiences with Meph. What struck me as most characteristic about the change in his behaviour was the seeming complete lack of ego. None of that gushy over empathy of MDMA, or misplaced confidence of the cocaine user, he was simply interested in taking part in an honest dialect. As it turns out, he did have a great time that evening, teaching a girl the fundamentals of boxing and videotaping his friends to wrestle in the conservatory. It made his brain bleed a little bit though.

Very little is still known about the long term side effects of Mephedrone, but short term side effects include anxiety, paranoia, and rashes. More frighteningly than this though, is the risk of developing psychological conditions, such as HPPD (Hallucination Persisting Perception Disorder), which leave many drug users disorientated depersonalised shells of their former selves. These disorders can be caused by any addiction; coffee, alcohol, LSD, or even emotional stress, but are a known consequence of drug abuse. As such, once you have taken illicit substances then your mind becomes the stake placed in a gamble that you played to have a fun time. If you lose, the consequences are yours alone to deal with.
Why anyone would take a hit of discount fertiliser directly to the nasal cavity made a bit more sense to me after talking to this friend. If you’ve taken MDMA for years, then it disappears, and a cheap designer drug hits the market espoused as a mix between coke and MDMA then supply and demand is established. If the economy of drugs is still approached in those terms, then progress can be made to keep drugs, that inevitably end up in the noses of kids, safer.

The late chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, Professor David Nutt, was fired when he concluded that drug classifications should be based on what he called “reality”, instead of perpetuating existing policies that are unpopular to change. By ignoring the conclusions of Nutt’s team of scientists and following party policy, politicians have made manufacturing MDMA a lot harder in this country, making it easier for drug dealers to make money from Mephedrone. This artificially created niche in the drug economy is worrying because if this trend continues then it will create a vacuum whereby the government makes something illegal and the dealers rush to get the next legal high onto the streets. The only thing that changes is the quality and safety of the merchandise, and the effects on the user.

Laws, and the whole process of prohibition, need to change to take into consideration that the war on drugs is now deeply trenched-in, it cannot be won, only intensified, and a negotiated scale down may save a lot of people their minds. Steps need to be taken to make sure that safer drugs – as dictated by science based on reality – are easier to get hold of than designer drugs, because, if in our culture untested drugs are the only way to get high, then those are the drugs some people will take. This requires our political masters to have the humility to admit that no matter how much they try to stop people taking drugs, there will always be a market for narcotics. All that is required is to regulate that market.

Comments

  • well hopefully there are more people out there willing to talk about these important issues! cool article man!

    By Anonymous on 1.3.2024

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