It's sad that it takes young people to die to provoke a debate about drugs, but we've been here before. Unfortunately once again it hasn't been an informed debate. Grieving parents are quoted and pushed into articulating solutions. It's rather distasteful and akin to asking a parent of an astronaut in the Challenger disaster to pinpoint the cause.
Police are now saying that they were killed by a contaminated batch. Contaminated? Experience shows that quite often after the "policy by Daily Mail" process has been set in motion it turns out that a "cocktail" and folly of youth is ultimately the root cause.
The reality that the Government are the real guilty party as 4-MMC would almost certainly have been made illegal like BZP if they hadn't chosen to interfere for political reasons.
However, that's not really the issue at stake here. I've said before that drugs should be classed in order of harm to society. That is not the same as saying drugs should necessarily be legal, but the current farce is killing people. Whilst the current crop of politicians were happy enough to snort and puff their way through University, once tasked with creating a safer society they have behaved like frightened bunnies in the headlights and instead have created a drugs policy using the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons rule book leaving the young to roll 20 sided dice. An evidence based and medically led approach to the problems of drug use rather than victim criminalisation is the only logical way to deal with a problem that causes misery and collatoral damage with the criminal activity that goes on to support the industry.
Old Liberals like me (as opposed to the Provisional Social Democratic wing of the party) get squeemish when a ban on anything is proposed without proper debate or evidence, but that doesn't mean that we wouldn't if the evidence showed it to be necessary. Professor Nutt's approach was just the kind of respected research on which to make such decisions, but it would seem that many politicians would still burn women as witches if they perceived it as the politically expediant response to a Daily Mail headline.