Parliament voted to approve a blanket ban on ‘legal highs’ last month, prohibiting the sale of all ‘psychoactive substances’.
While the Bill included a ban on the sale of poppers, the government has now laid out plans to review medical evidence relating to their use. The ban on poppers comes into effect in April and anyone found guilty of selling, or even giving them away for free, could face a jail sentence of up to seven years.
Pending the outcome of the review, however, poppers could be legal again by July, just three months after they were outlawed.
Tory MP Mike Freer, a prominent voice from within the backbench speaking out against the ban, said, “Given how the numbers were stacking up (including Northern Irish MPs voting for the ban), there was no prospect of an exemption being secured during the debate… It was essential to get the best outcome and the evidence based review, including relationship implications, is an important step forward.
I doubt sufficient evidence is there and it means poppers should be exempt by the end of July. That’s what I and colleagues are working on.”