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Legal Highs Bill Is "Stupid And Scientifically Illiterate", Says Parliamentary Motion

An MP has submitted a startlingly brutal early day motion in parliament calling the government's new psychoactive substances bill "one of the stupidest, most dangerous and unscientific pieces of drugs legislation ever".

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Last week, the House of Commons voted to pass the psychoactive substances bill, which will ban all "psychoactive substances" – that is, anything that affects how your brain works.

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The bill is intended to curb the rise of so-called "legal highs", usually chemical compounds created to get around current laws banning specific substances.

It's fair to say it's met with some criticism. Experts have warned that the definition of "psychoactive substance" is so broad that it could include the smell of bacon sandwiches.

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And New Scientist said "You're not hallucinating, MPs really did pass crazy bad drug law" in a piece that called the bill a "backward step" and "one of the most unhelpful laws ever passed".

Now a Labour MP has sponsored a motion in parliament describing the bill as "one of the stupidest, most dangerous and unscientific pieces of drugs legislation ever", "manifestly stupid", and "evidence-free and prejudice-rich".

Parliament.uk / Via parliament.uk

Paul Flynn also calls on the House of Commons to condemn "the depths of scientific illiteracy" displayed in the bill.

The motion has no legal force; it's really just a way for MPs to express opinions about things.

Early day motions have in the past been submitted to express the opinion that "Arsenal is the best club football team in the world" (it admired the "fluency and poetry that they have brought to the beautiful game") and to look forward to the day when an asteroid wipes out humanity. (Jeremy Corbyn signed both of those.)

And it's not exactly been swamped with signatures. Apart from Flynn, the only other sponsor is the Green party MP Caroline Lucas.

Still, though. It must have felt pretty good getting it off his chest.

CORRECTION

Green MP Caroline Lucas is a former leader of her party. An earlier version of this piece referred to her as the current leader.

Tom Chivers is a science writer for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Tom Chivers at tom.chivers@buzzfeed.com.

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