The House of Lords Home Affairs, Health and Education European Union Sub-Committee will question Norman Baker MP, Minister of State at the Home Office, on Wednesday 16 October on a new European Commission proposal regarding new psychoactive substances.
Wednesday 16 October, Committee Room 3, Palace of Westminster
- Norman Baker MP, Minister of State for the Home Office
In March last year, the Committee published its report into what form the EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020 should take. In the report the Committee supported the exploration of alternatives to banning new psychoactive substances (‘legal highs’), such as placing them within in regulated markets similar to those that already exist for tobacco and alcohol, as it concluded that it was “not convinced that there is any benefit to be gained from new legislation on drug trafficking or on new psychoactive substances.”
On 26 March 2013, the Government published an action plan to combat new psychoactive substances, which had some similarities to what the Commission is proposing.
Mr. Baker is likely to face questions from the Committee on areas including:
- whether there is the potential for the "very small" legal trade in new psychoactive substances to increase;
- if the UK would face sanctions or penalties from the European Commission and/or Court of Justice of the European Union if it breached an EU-wide ban on a new substance or decided to unilaterally ban a substance not banned at EU level under the proposed new system; and
- whether the Commission's proposals reflect the efforts to tackle th spread of new psychoactive substances at other regional levels, e.g. G8 and international levels.