By Bridget Honan and Leonie Lohwasser
The popular â€œlegal highâ€ named Meow Meow and other psychoactive substances will be banned across Europe when European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding introduces a new proposal in 2013.
A common drug legislation for the EU
The Commissioner for Justice wants to introduce legislation to create a uniform ban across the EU.
So far, the responsibility to ban legal highs has been in the hands of the member states.
The legislation is a huge step for the Commission, who until now have had no legally binding measures against drug consumption.
Spokesperson for Viviane Reding Natasha Bertaud said, â€œthereâ€™s a mechanism in place to ban these drugs, but at the moment it works very slowly.â€
â€œIf thereâ€™s a new drug on the market, a member state has to flag the risk and alert the European commission and the EMCDAA will conduct a risk assessment.
Then theyâ€™ll submit the risk assessment to the committee, then the committee can make a proposal to the council, then the council can make a decision about whether or not they should ban the drug.â€
â€œThen every single member state has to ratify that decision and make the ban themselves.â€
Ms Bertaud says this process could take up to a year to ban one single drug.
The amount of drugs is rising
The EMCDDAâ€“Europol 2011 annual report on psychoactive substances states that one new drug emerges every week within the EU.