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NPS Ministerial Cross Party Working Group

Scottish Government New Psychoactive Substances Cross Party Working Group Report

Please see link to New Psychoactive Substances Cross Party Working Group Report:


New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) is a description of a set of substances designed to mimic the effect of controlled drugs, but which do not, by definition, fall within the current legal framework that prohibits the possession, sale or supply of drugs controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The contents and chemical composition of these substances can vary greatly and there is growing evidence that NPS can cause a range of physical and psychological symptoms as well as death.

In August 2014, the Scottish Government established an Expert Review Group which included representatives from a broad spectrum, including COSLA, Trading Standards and the Scottish Government. The group considered the current legal framework, including consumer protection and trading standards legislation, available to govern the sale and supply of psychoactive substances. The Expert Review Group published its report on the 26 February 2015:

On the same day that the Expert Review Group published its report, the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, made a Statement in Parliament and updated members on the latest developments on NPS. He also announced his intention to establish and chair a Ministerial Cross Party Working Group to oversee the responses to NPS.

Purpose of the Group

An opportunity for all the political parties to work together to build a shared understanding of the issue and to take a collective look at the challenges NPS present. It is a short life working group which will conclude in January 2016. A summary report will be produced which will cover the discussions held and work to be taken forward.


Group Members

Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Chair, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs

Elaine Murray MSP – Scottish Labour Party

Graeme Dey MSP – Scottish National Party

John Finnie MSP – Scottish Green Party

Alison McInnes MSP – Scottish Liberal Democrats

Alex Johnstone MSP – Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party


Scottish Government Officials

Beverley Francis – Head of Drugs Policy Unit

Vicky Carmichael – Drugs Policy Unit

Isla Wallace – Justice Analytical Services

Stella Fulton – Secretariat