Hove man's death from mephedrone furthers call to ban deadly legal high

Posted On 18 Mar 2010 at 8:28 pm

A Hove man was confirmed as the fifth known victim of the deadly legal high mephedrone today.

John Sterling Smith, 46, collapsed at a party in the early hours of February 7 and died shortly afterwards.

His brother, businessman Roger Smith, 51, told The Argus: “I had no idea he would even try this kind of thing. We were shocked that he died so young, but even more so to find out how he died.

“This stuff is legal so people make the mistake of thinking it’s safe. I hadn’t even heard of it before but why anyone would experiment with a chemical that is supposed to be a tomato fertiliser is a total mystery.”

Two men from Brighton, aged 35 and 40, have been arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A drugs and released on police bail until May 5.

The news came as Government drug experts said they would recommend banning the drug, also known as meow, miaow miaow or m-cat.

But more consultation will be needed on whether it should be a Class A, B or C drug, delaying the formal proscription until summer.

Headteachers have also called for action, saying its use is becoming alarmingly widespread amongst youngsters, some of whom think it is safe because it is not illegal.

Side-effects of mephedrone, which is sold as a plant fertiliser to get around strict food laws, include high blood pressure, a burning throat, nose bleeds and purple joints.

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