Weeks after the U.K. government planned to pass a law that would ban the use of poppers, it was reported this week officials have dropped the proposal, according to Pink News.
The U.K. Parliament voted and approved a blanket "legal highs" ban in January that would prevent the sale of drugs like alkyl nitrites (a.k.a. poppers), which are used by people to relax before anal sex. Home Secretary Theresa May pushed the measure through the legislation to make poppers, and other substances like laughing gas, illegal.
Pink News writes, "in a drastic last-minute intervention, the government this week intervened to ensure that the ban on poppers will not go into effect." Had the measure been approved, it would have been enacted on April 6.
In a letter addressed to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, Home Officer minister Karen Bradley confirmed the government's latest move:
"I understand that the Council has now advanced its understanding of the psychoactivity of the alkyl nitrites group under the Act and concluded that only substances that directly stimulate or depress the central nervous system are psychoactive under the Act," she wrote. "Having given due consideration, the Government agrees with your advice and interpretation of the definition.
"We do so in the understanding that 'poppers' have these unique indirect effects," she continued. "Our understanding is that this approach does not have any further implications for the operation of the Act and that other substances that the Act intends to cover are not affected. We remain confident that the psychoactivity of those substances can be established under the definition in the Act."
Read the full note via Pink News.
MP Mike Freer spoke to the website about the issue.
"There was no evidence that poppers were psychoactive and now that has been officially confirmed, sense has prevailed," This text will be the link. "I am just disappointed that the Home Office didn't listen to representations at the outset and this mess could have been avoided. Karen Bradley as the new Minister has been supportive and deserves credit for helping untangling the mess."
It was reported in January popular and openly gay MP Crispin Blunt spoke out against the proposed poppers ban. Blunt, who happens to be the uncle of actress Emily Blunt, called the measure "fantastically stupid."
"I use poppers," Blunt said, according to TMZ. "I out myself as a poppers user. And would be directly affected by this legislation. And I was astonished to find that it's proposed they be banned and, frankly, so were very many gay men."