Department of Health and Children statement in relation to legislation to be made under Misuse of Drugs Act 1977
The Government agreed at its meeting on 2 March 2010 to the commencement of a notification process under Directive 98/34/EC (the “Technical Standards” Directive) as amended by Directive 98/48/EC of the Government’s intention to make a Declaration Order under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 declaring certain substances, products and preparations to be controlled drugs for the purposes of the Misuse of Drugs Acts, 1977 and 1984.
The substances concerned include a range of products sold in so-called ‘head shops’ including:
- synthetic cannabinoids (SPICE products)
- benzylpiperazine (BZP) derivatives
- mephedrone, methylone and related cathinones
- GBL and 1,4 BD
In addition, the Declaration Order to be made under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 will include Ketamine and Tapentadol which are substances that have legitimate uses as medicines but which can be subject to misuse. The Declaration Order will also cover certain narcotic and psychotropic substances which Ireland is obliged to bring under control in order to comply with the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
Some of the substances sold in head shops and which are to be controlled have legitimate uses in the pharmaceutical and chemicals industries e.g. two of the BZP derivatives are used to manufacture authorised medicines and GBL and 1,4 BD are widely used in the manufacture of plastics and as industrial solvents. However, during the three month EU notification period, consultations will take place with relevant Government Departments/ Agencies and with industry to determine how the substances can be properly controlled without placing inappropriate restrictions on their legitimate use.