MP Brazier calls on Theresa May to close Skunkworks shops as Canterbury student nearly dies
Canterbury MP Julian Brazier
Canterbury MP Julian Brazier has called for a change in the law to prevent the controversial Skunkworks store from trading.
He has written to Home Secretary Theresa May after a 17-year-old Canterbury College student nearly died after taking a legal high he bought at the controversial shop in Northgate.
Matt Ford, 17, lost consciousness and was foaming at the mouth after smoking Exodus Damnation – a herbal incense.
In his letter to Mrs May, he said: "Skunkworks' get-out clause for the sale is that the herb is 'not for human consumption', but their advice is to 'help you relax' by burning the herbs in the home.
"I find these twisted semantics as repugnant as I am sure you do. The fact remains that the shop knowingly sells intoxicants and highs, with the apparent blessing of the law. Indeed, the chain is expanding."
The UK Skunkworks shop in Canterbury
Matt, of Foxgrove Road, Whitstable, took the legal high with two friends in his bedroom at 1pm on Monday.
His mum watched as he was taken to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, where doctors told him he had had a heart attack and would have died within 10 minutes if they had not acted.
Mr Brazier went on: "I suggest that we change the wording of the law to include general drug groupings, instead of named chemicals, as close chemical cousins are being discovered all the time, often causing extreme harm before they are banned.
"Even classifying drugs into categories can give a false idea of safety.
"Today’s newspaper coverage of the bladder problems caused by the use of Ketamine are a case in point.
"Nobody wants to lose their bladder at the age of 20, yet this is a clear and known side effect of Ketamine.
"Skunkworks, its fellow shops and its websites must be banned – it should simply not be possible to buy any drugs other than pharmaceuticals for medical use.
"The Misuse of Drugs Act needs to be re-examined and toughened up, as it was framed long before the internet and widespread availability of chemical highs. I believe it is no longer fit for purpose."
Matt, who works as a carpenter in Faversham, added: "If I can’t help to get it banned then I just want to make sure it won’t happen to anyone else."
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