Should scientists be able to undertake research on so-called "legal highs"?

The Conservative government made a manifesto pledge to deal with the laws on "legal highs". On June 9th, the House of Lords will debate these measures, contained in the Psychoactive Substances bill. Neuroscientist Dr Nick Davis, of the Department of Psychology, argues in today's Guardian that current drug laws make it hard to do careful science on the effects of drugs. He said, "Many illegal drugs have effects that make them potentially useful for treating psychological conditions. However, drugs laws create barriers to research." Dr Davis thinks research should be exempt from strict controls, adding, "Good, careful research on these substances may lead to useful medicines in the future."