A new Psychoactive Substances Bill may change the life of the British people quite significantly. It can turn it upside down. The new government bill sponsored by Lord Bates and Theresa May means to ban all the types of so-called “legal highs.” And by saying “all” they mean exactly all the substances with any kind of a psychoactive effect.
If this document becomes a law, there will be a blanket ban on every existing kind of drugs and substances that have even the tiniest possibility to affect human brain. Moreover, the list of the forbidden substances will include not only synthetic substitutes for different drugs like marijuana, but the church incense, too. It means that all priests of several Christian denominations will be forced to stop using incense, unless they want to spend the next seven years in jail.
The two largest church groups in the U.K. have already asked the Parliament to make an “exemption” for incense. The Churches’ Legislation Advisory Service and the Association of English Cathedrals explain that priests were using the substance since the foundation of the Christian church. Most certainly, incense is an inalienable element of almost every ceremony inside a church.
But the perspective of sending priests into a jail is not as scary and terrifying as the possible effect the new law will inevitably have on the circulation of newly banned substances. Every time the government bans some kind of drug or a substance that can be used to create a drug, no matter of which country we are talking about, the “entrepreneurs” find tons of ways to keep doing their “job.” They change some tiny details in the final product to create a new substitute. And usually, that substitutes are of less quality and are less safe than their prototypes.
In fact, if the British government decided to choose the Portuguese drug policy model, like their Irish colleagues did, they could find a better way out of this problem. And marijuana users, including those who need weed for medical purposes, could get access to a high-quality and safe cannabis instead of its dangerous synthetic substitutes.