Banning “meow meow” would be counterproductive

The heavily publicised deaths of two teenagers in Lincolnshire who took mephedrone (known as “meow meow”) has led to calls for the drug to be banned. Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling has stated there is a “very strong case” for banning meow meow, while Lord Mandelson has stated that its legality will be considered “very speedily, very carefully”. It would appear that little has been learnt from the failure of prohibitions imposed on other recreational drugs and that scant regard is being given to the principle of self ownership – if individuals own their bodies then they must be free to harm themselves.

Richard Wellings was formerly Deputy Research Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs. He was educated at Oxford and the London School of Economics, completing a PhD on transport and environmental policy at the latter in 2004. He joined the Institute in 2006 as Deputy Editorial Director. Richard is the author, co-author or editor of several papers, books and reports, including Towards Better Transport (Policy Exchange, 2008), A Beginner’s Guide to Liberty (Adam Smith Institute, 2009), High Speed 2: The Next Government Project Disaster? (IEA , 2011) and Which Road Ahead - Government or Market? (IEA, 2012). He is a Senior Fellow of the Cobden Centre and the Economic Policy Centre.