Apres près d’un an de débats depuis sa proposition initiale, le projet de loi britannique a obtenu l’accord royal le 28 Janvier 2016, et va devenir une loi le 6 avril 2016. Pour en savoir plus, en anglais, veuillez lire les informations ci-dessous.

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After almost a year of debate since its initial proposal, the Psychoactive Substances Bill reached Royal Assent on the 28th of January 2016, and will become law on the 6th of April 2016.

It is essential that all staff at drug services, services supporting people who use unbanned new pyschoactive substances, and people who use drugs are aware of the law and what this new Act potentially means for them. 

So what is the Act?

The Act will make it an offence to produce, supply or offer to supply any psychoactive substance if the substance is likely to be used for its psychoactive effects, regardless of its potential for harm. The only exemption from the Act are those substances already controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and medicinal products.

What will happen to the existing laws?

The Act doesn’t replace the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) so laws around existing illegal (controlled) drugs will remain the same. Temporary Class Drug Orders (TCDOs), which are rapidly implemented temporary bans, can still be applied and the Human Medicines Regulations (2012) will remain the same.

The Intoxicating Substances Supply Act (1985) will be scrapped, which made it an offence to sell volatile substances (e.g. glues, gases) to under 18s if it was believed they would be inhaled to cause intoxication.

At present a substance causing concern must be reviewed by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to assess any potential harm. The ACMD then advise the government on a course of action. The government do not have to take this advice, but are bound to consult with the ACMD first. The ACMD will still have a role and a ‘new’ or emerging psychoactive substance can still be brought under the Misuse of Drugs Act, but this Act was introduced without fully consulting the ACMD and will fundamentally change drug legislation.   

Is it a criminal offence to possess a banned psychoactive substance?

Possession of a psychoactive substance will not be an offence, except in a ‘custodial institution’ (prison, young offender centre, removal centre etc.). Possession with intent to supply, importing or exporting a psychoactive substance will all become offences.

Click here to read the full article.             

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