Mumbai: Government finally bans party drug meow meow

After mid-day reported on how the devastating drug was wreaking havoc on the lives of city youngsters, a finance ministry notification has now made its production, transportation, storage and consumption illegal under the Narcotics Act

After a series of reports published in this paper highlighting the devastating effects of addiction to meow meow, the Centre has finally taken serious cognisance of the issue and made the drug illegal. A finance ministry notification has declared the drug as a psychotropic substance under the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, deeming it illegal.

Also read: Dangerous new drug 'meow meow' haunts Mumbai youth

mid-day had first written about the destructive nature of meow meow, a mephedrone drug, on April 14, 2014, and thereafter, continued reporting on the rampant sale of the drug. Dr Yusuf Merchant, who runs a drug rehabilitation centre, Drug Abuse Information Rehabilitation And Research Center (DAIRRC), in Kalyan, has already filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in Bombay High Court, and the next date of hearing is on February 27.

mid-day’s reports highlighting the devastating effects of addiction to meow meow
mid-day’s reports highlighting the devastating effects of addiction to meow meow

The latest notification from the Ministry of Finance, Central Government, is viewed as a welcome move. Dated February 5, 2015, the notification (a copy is with this paper) states that under section 3 of the NDPS Act, 1985, mephedrone is being declared as a psychotropic substance, thereby bringing the said drug under the schedule 1 category, wherein production, transportation, storage and consumption of the same would be treated as an offence and cognisance is taken under the NDPS Act.

Cheap high
According to Dr Merchant, the drug costs R150 per gram, nearly twenty times cheaper than cocaine, which goes at Rs 2,800 per gram. Astonishingly, the drug was not banned under the NDPS Act, and can be ordered online and delivered to your doorstep.

Also read: As sales spike destroys Mumbai's youth, Meow Meow to be banned soon

Dr Merchant said that in two months (February and March 2014) DAIRRC had come across 30 cases, out of 40, of meow meow addicts at his centre in Kalyan, most of them being in the age group of 16 to 26 years, and 12 of them being females.

“In the last thirty five years of my career, this is the first time I have seen positive intervention of the media in the form of mid-day, which highlighted the ill effects of meow meow, resulting in us filing a PIL in the Bombay High Court.

We are also satisfied that the government of India has taken cognisance of the same and has now imposed a ban of this drug, which is a welcome move.” B B Mishra, deputy director general, Narcotics Control Bureau, said, “The notification has been circulated to all law enforcing agencies who can now take necessary action on sale, storage and even transportation of mephedrone drug, and brings it under the ambit of the NDPS Act.”

A copy of the notification has been sent to the Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs, Director General, Narcotics Control Bureau, Director General, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and other Central government agencies, including the Drug Controller General of India.

Rs 150
Cost of one gram of meow meow

Rs 2,800
Cost of one gram of cocaine

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