Spice should not be reclassified

Plymouth City Council will not be supporting the Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s call for the synthetic drug ‘spice’ to be reclassified from a Class B to Class A.

Council leader Tudor Evans has written on the advice of the city’s Director of Public Health to the commissioner Alison Hernandez arguing that reclassification would not stop people using the drug and was more likely to expose people to more risk.

Reclassification could also make the drug more profitable for dealers as the price goes up and could, in fact, make it more attractive to vulnerable groups as ‘Class A’ drugs are seen as more serious.

The current classification is only two years old with those caught dealing facing prison terms of up to 14 years plus unlimited fines or five years plus unlimited fines for possession, he said and added that the use of cocaine and heroin were by far the most pressing issues for Plymouth communities.

Councillor Evans hit back at Ms Hernandez’s call for public health and substance misuse services to ‘step up to tackle the problem urgently’.

He added: “I can assure you that, in Plymouth, we have an integrated system to address substance misuse, from giving advice and information to supporting people who are vulnerable.”

Councillor Sally Haydon, Cabinet Member for Community Safety called on Alison Hernandez to ramp up her action to tackle drug dealing in the city.