UK Drug Laws
The Misuse of Drugs Act
This act has been created to prevent the non-medical use of certain drugs within the UK. It controls not only medicinal drugs but also drugs that currently obtain no medical use. All drugs which are subject to this act are known as ‘controlled drugs’. The law defines a series of different offences of which include; unlawfully supplied, intent to supply and the import/export of unlawful production. To enforce this law the police have the right to stop, detain and search an individual on ‘reasonable suspicion’ that they are in possession of a controlled drug.
The Misuse of Drugs Act divides drugs into three classes as follows:
These include: cocaine and crack, ecstasy, heroin, LSD, methadone, methamphetamine (crystal meth), fresh and prepared magic mushrooms.
These include: amphetamine (not methamphetamine), barbiturates, codeine, ketamine, synthetic cannabinoids such as Spice and cannabis. All cathinone derivatives, including mephedrone, methylone, methedrone and MDPV were brought under control as Class B substances in 2010.
These include: anabolic steroids, minor tranquillisers or benzodiazepines, GBL and GHB, khat and BZP.
Class A drugs are treated by the law as the most dangerous. Offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act can include:
- Possession of a controlled drug.
- Possession with intent to supply another person.
- Production, cultivation or manufacture of controlled drugs.
- Supplying another person with a controlled drug.
Offering to supply another person with a controlled drug.
- Import or export of controlled drugs.
- Allowing premises you occupy or manage to be used for the consumption of certain controlled drugs (smoking of cannabis or opium but not use of other controlled drugs) or supply or production of any controlled drug.
- Certain controlled drugs such as amphetamines, barbiturates, methadone, minor tranquillisers and occasionally heroin can be obtained through a legitimate doctor’s prescription. In such cases their possession is not illegal.
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