The Best of Breakfast with Bongani Bingwa

The classification of illegal drugs is based on politics


Bongani Bingwa speaks to Shaun Shelly, Deputy-Secretary, United Nations Vienna NGO Committee on Narcotic Drugs, and Sub-Saharan Africa Representative of the International Drug Policy Consortium. PLOT: Designer drugs are among the fastest-growing and most versatile substances in the global illicit drugs economy. They are known as ‘new psychoactive substances’ which are developed to mimic the effects of established illicit drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD. The problem is classification of drugs where states are unable to distinguish between illegal and legal drugs. It is estimated that around 730 new psychoactive substances were identified globally in 2016, and the number has grown to 888, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

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