How the UK's drug prohibitions on spice created even more dangerous versions

The drug spice has been chemically altered to circumvent the UK's laws against it, and the new version is causing havoc in the streets. It's also being blamed for a threefold increase in unnatural deaths among UK prisoners.


Responding to a series of bans in the 2010s, Chinese chemists repeatedly tweaked the molecular formula of Spice until it had mutated from a mildly powerful 'legal high' sold to school kids on the British high street into something capable of causing chaos and misery in the UK prison system. This is the story of how Spice went from the head shops to tabloid-terrorising "zombie drug."

Prohibition always leads to unexpected consequences.

Image: YouTube / VICE