Now is the time to make any last minute orders! If you would like to make any large orders then please contact us for our best prices.” That was the message sent out by online stockist Happy Plant Shop to all their customers a few days before mephedrone was banned in Britain.
These “large orders” were presumably for folk who wanted to buy more than the 10g bags already advertised. Basically, bulk buyers who intended to stockpile the drug so they had a large supply once it became illegal. Enough to last them through the festival season.
You see, what the government and police don’t seem to realise is that this ’drone hoarding is creating a new type of drug dealer. People, like mates of yours, perhaps, who would have previously never engaged in the dangerous pastime of selling drugs, have taken advantage of how easy it was to get hold of large amounts of mephedrone wholesale.
So at this year’s festivals, as well as the usual dodgy types who buy a ticket simply to sell drugs, there will be many small-scale meph dealers who bought in bulk off the internet and are trying to make a bit of extra cash off their mates.
One student at Bristol University told me, “I’ve never dealt before, but just after they announced the ban I bought 50g to sell on at festivals and make a killing. It should cover the cost of my Glastonbury and Bestival tickets and then some.”
While you’d have to be blind, deaf and stupid to think that festivals weren’t exactly tough places to get hold of illegal substances, the result is that mephedrone is likely to considerably intensify on-site drug trades. No other drug in recent memory has been able to boast such a widespread army of loyal franchisers.
Most likely, this is going to mean more searches at the gates, more arrests and longer queues at the cubicles. Great. T In The Park chiefs talked tough when I dropped them a line, making clear that: “As a Class B substance, the use and dealing of mephedrone will become a matter for our police team on site.”
For those less willing to be on the wrong side of Scottish coppers, there’s already a new generation of legal highs that are making their way to the UK’s green fields. MDAI, which replicates the effects of MDMA, is currently an uncontrolled substance in the UK – who knows for how long, though – and some mephedrone dealers have already started selling it.
Just because legislation has changed, it doesn’t mean that the war is over. There is plenty of mephedrone still in circulation and it will most likely be months before the ’drone that was bought legally will, ahem, “pass through” the system.
With hundreds of small-scale dealers selling mephedrone at the festivals, not to mention the rise of MDAI and other legal highs, it seems that the clashes over this new generation of drugs are far from over. Rather it’s the battlefield that could be about to change, from the internet to the campsite.