Russia is being urged to crackdown on so-called designer drugs after a new form of synthetic cannabis poisoned some 700 people, killing more than 20 of them.
Teenagers account for many of the victims of the substance, widely known as “Spice”.
The damage it has wrought has prompted calls for a toughening of the law and a temporary ban to stop the spread of all new drugs that significantly affect the human mind.
Urging immediate amendments to the law, Russia’s drug control chief Viktor Ivanov said he wanted the circulation of any new substances found to be psychoactive to be suspended for up to three years.
Designer substances sold over the internet and giving a legal high are just the latest problem facing Russian drug control officials.
Drug use increased massively after the fall of the Soviet Union and drug addiction remains one of Russia’s biggest public health problems.