The psychoactive substances bill will easily pass a vote in the Commons, but it will be given a kicking in the Lords.
Peers won’t vote it down – although they could if Labour changed its tune. There’s no government majority in the Lords, so Labour and Lib Dems together could do it. It’s just very unlikely Labour will do so. But, at the very least, peers will debate the bill properly and a few campaigning members will get duff it up a bit and point out the full extent of its idiocy.
That process starts today, with a host of amendments being put forward by a variety of peers – chief among them Lib Dem Lord Paddick, Labour’s Lord Howarth and crossbencher Baroness Meacher. In amendment after amendment they try to insert demands for evidence, committees to assess the relative risk of substances, a more rational scientific definition of what a psychoactive substance might be and the return of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). It is doomed to failure, but it is an honourable rearguard defence.