Scottish courts handed down the first sanctions for handling research chemicals under the new regulations, with financial penalties for the offending party.
After getting caught with five different substances in his store, a 26-year old man was convicted of breaching product safety regulations by the Aberdeen Sherriff Court. Liston Pacitti of Aberdeen is a shopkeeper of a centrally located indoor tobacco shop known by locals a “Rollies“, which offered various new psychoactive substances marketed under several trade names, including some that were sold as herbal incense. When his shop was visited by the law enforcement officers, he wasn’t able to produce the required documentation and was found to be in violation of trade regulations.
The offending products were sold in the period between February and March 2014, and according to court testimony the shop has stopped selling chemical products since, switching to e-cigarettes as the main product instead. The court still found it necessary to return the guilty verdict and impose a fine totaling 1800 pounds, although the offender won’t serve any prison time despite confessing to violations.
According to his lawyer, Mr. Pacitti intends to sell the leftover drugs over the internet in order to stay in line with the governing regulations in Scotland.
Owners of brick-and-mortar shops that sell chemical products are currently under siege all across the United Kingdom, even if most of the banned substances remain available online. It is obvious that shops attract far more attention than obscure websites, so the pressure to put them out of business is very significant. The ostensible goal is to protect public health, though in reality the most likely result will be pushing of the research chemical trade deeper underground, where it can’t be controlled at all.
The demand for new psychoactive substances remains strong in the UK and repressive measures have had little chance of changing that state of affairs will the UK’s new NPS bill change that or will it move the industry underground?
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