By Valentin Simionov, Romanian Harm Reduction Network

On December 5, 2011, the Romanian Government issued a new Emergency Ordinance (GED) which amends the current legislation on drugs. More specifically, the new provision simplifies the procedures for amending the lists with controlled substances: from now on it will be easier to criminalize a new substance, once identified.

The amendments refer to art. 1 from law 143/2000 on preventing and combating illicit drug trafficking and use and art. 8 from law 339/2005, concerning the legal status of plants, substances and narcotic and psychotropic concoctions: the lists with controlled substances can be changed based on international recommendations and law enforcement only, without requiring a Government decision.

The Ministry of Administration and Interior can propose the registration, cancellation or transfer of a new plant, substance or precursor between lists in the law 143/2000.

According to the authorities, this provision is aimed to speed up the criminalization procedures in order to protect the health and life of the population, especially the youth.

The GED was issued as a consequence of the legal highs epidemic which affected mostly adolescents and young users.

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