Police Proudly Tweeted They Had Seized a Load of Poppers, Then Had to Return Them When They Realised They're Actually Legal

May 27, 2016, 9:58am

Poppers have caused a lot of confusion lately. Government ministers wanted them included in the Psychoactive Substances Act – their new blanket ban of literally anything that might get you high – and thought they had succeeded after a noisy Commons debate. But, in March, it turned out they definitely hadn't; that poppers couldn't be banned because, actually, they're nowhere near psychoactive enough to count as a "psychoactive substance".

Yesterday, police in Crawley – a town near Gatwick Airport – had a similar issue. Believing alkyl nitrites had been banned in the bill, which came into effect at midnight yesterday, they seized a bunch of poppers from a local shop and proudly tweeted a photo of their haul, captioned: "First day, first seizure in Crawley by PC Goater! One and only one warning given. #NoSecondChance #PoppersIncluded".

Problem is, after that whole fiasco in March, poppers were quite famously not included in the new bill. Twitter users were quick to alert the police to this fact, to which they responded: "We are checking out the situation regarding the illegality of selling poppers and will update shortly." And then, presumably after PC Goater got shouted at for a long time by a very red-faced chief: "Crawley Police can announce that the 'poppers' were seized in error in good faith. All goods will be returned to the shops with apologies."

The day before all this, Crawley Police tweeted that they were out actively "searching for cannabis smokers", rather than, I don't know, doing some meaningful police work. So taking that and the poppers seizure into account, it's clear they have a great understanding of drugs and the best ways to use their time and resources when it comes to policing them.