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Russia’s upper house planning to ban 'spice' smoking mixtures

October 06, 2014, 5:44 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Federation Council speaker, Valentina Matviyenko, has ordered three committees of Russia’s upper house to prepare their proposals on toughening the law in this sphere
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© ITAR-TASS/Dmitriy Rogulin

MOSCOW, October 6. /TASS/. The Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament, is considering a ban on smoking mixtures, known as “spices,” after a wave of poisonings hit the country over the past few months, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported on Monday.

The Federation Council speaker, Valentina Matviyenko, has ordered three committees of Russia’s upper house to prepare their proposals on toughening the law in this sphere.

The deputy chairman of the Federation Council, Alexander Torshin, has proposed introducing a system under which a new drug substance on the market is to be immediately banned for a period of one year.

The lawmaker has called for introducing the ban swiftly, without waiting for the government to adopt resolutions as the formula of “spices” is changing rapidly in order to bypass laws.

“First we need a ban, and then deal with it: if this is a drug, we ban it completely, if no, there is nothing serious in it,” said Torshin, who heads a working group involving representatives of the Health Ministry and the Federal Drug Control Service.

Of late, a number of Russian regions have seen massive poisonings with smoking mixtures, which were sold legally in stores and distributed through the Internet as types of medicine or chemicals.

Over 20 people have died and hundreds of others have been affected.

“Spices,” favored by youth as they are relatively cheap and easy to come by, are several hundred times more dangerous than marijuana and their effects can be really catastrophic.

Up to 80,000 people in Russia develop an addiction to spices annually, according to experts.

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