Prisoners ‘should be given cannabis to stop Spice deaths’, drug expert says

Spice (Rex)
Spice (Rex)

Prisoners should be given cannabis to stop a wave of Spice overdoses, which have led to multiple deaths, and even to prison officers become ill from the smoke.

Scottish drug expert Dr Stephanie Sharp, said that cannabis was ‘much safer’, and that leaving prisoners to smoke Spice was ‘condemning them to death’.

Dr Sharp told the Daily Record, ‘Why aren’t prisons able to give them cannabis? It is a much safer alternative. Psychoactive substances like Spice are illegal but all they have to do is change a chemical and they become legal again.

“Because we are not addressing the issue of psychoactive drugs, we are condemning people to death in prisons and on the streets.’


Dr Sharp, co-founder of the Glasgow Expert Witness Service said, ‘We should accept people will take drugs and we should keep them safe by allowing them to get it through pharmacists.’

Spice – actually one or more of several hundred synthetic compounds – is meant to mimic the effects of smoking cannabis, but is much, much stronger.

It’s usually sold ready-sprayed onto herbs, and is smoked much like cannabis, but can cause terrifying symptoms such as hallucinating.

It’s extremely cheap, and many of the compounds used don’t show up in blood tests for drugs – which mean that it’s become popular in prisons.

Because it’s so much stronger than weed, and mixed randomly – makers sometimes dissolve the chemical in nail polish remover, then use a cement mixer to apply it to herbs – people often take a far higher dose than they intend to.

Drug organisation FRANK says, ‘Mood and perception can change and concentration and co-ordination may become difficult. Synthetic cannabinoids, possibly because of their potency, are more likely to be associated with hallucinations than natural cannabis.’

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