LGBT Labour calls on the Government to exempt poppers from a blanket ban on “psychoactive substances.”
Whilst we back the ban on the sale and distribution of dangerous psychoactive substances - which are a serious risk to public health - Labour believes that there is no evidence poppers cause harm and they are already subject to a successful regulatory regime.
This view has been echoed by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) and the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee who have both recommended that poppers should be exempt from the ban.
Ian Dylan Thomas, LGBT Labour Co-Chair, said: “The inclusion of poppers in this ban would criminalise a community for no good reason, and could potentially expose users to more harmful substances if they moved to an underground market.
“I’m pleased that Labour are seeking to amend this bill by calling for poppers to be exempted from the ban and I hope the Government listens to the important points put forward by LGBT Labour, the National Aids Trust, the Gay Men’s Health Collective, and many in the LGBT community.”
Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Home Secretary, said: "Labour has a clear position of judging drugs policy according to harm caused. We will always look at the evidence and as there is no evidence of harm, but I'm clear that this would be a backwards step as it may subject people to increased harm through the emergence of a black market as well as a waste of Police time. It would criminalise a community for no good reason. That's why we'll be urging the Government to think again."
Ahead of the debate, Andy Burnham has written to the Home Secretary asking her to think again and exempt poppers from the ban. You can read Andy's letter's here.