Legislation in Case of Drug Traffic and Possession

Updated on Wednesday 01st June 2016

Legislation in Case of Drug Traffic and Possession Image
The Misuse of Drugs Act and the Medicines Act are two important laws regulating the accessibility of drugs in the UK. Here are the main provisions of these laws in the UK in the case of traffic and possession of drugs or prohibited substances.

The Misuse of Drug Act 1971, presented by our criminal defence solicitors in London 

This law was planned to avoid the non-medical use of specific drugs. For this reason, The Act manages medicinal drugs, found also in the Medicines Act, and also drugs with no present medical uses. Offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act involve the common public and, even when the same drug and a related offence are implicated, punishments are really tougher. Drugs subject to this Act are recognized as controlled drugs and the law explains a series of offences, known as trafficking offences, including intent to supply, unlawful supply, import or export and unlawful manufacture. 

The difference from the Medicines Act is that the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 also forbids unlawful possession. To implement this law the authorities have the special powers to stop, arrest and look for individuals on reasonable suspicion that they possess a controlled drug.

The Medicines Act 1968

This law controls the produce and supply of medicine and it splits medical drugs into three divisions. Prescription only medicines are the most controlled and they can only be sold or provided by a pharmacist if recommended by a medical doctor. General sales ist medicines can be sold by any shop or pharmacy, and advertising, labeling and production restrictions are applied. The enforcement of the Medicines Act almost never affects the general public.

Psychoactive Substances Act 2016

The Psychoactive Substances Act obtained Royal Assent on January 28, 2016, applies across the UK and came into force on May 26, 2016. Here are a few important provisions stipulated in the new law and that need to be taken into consideration:

•   the act eliminates legitimate substances, like tobacco, alcohol, food, caffeine, nicotine and medical products from the scope of the offence, as well as controlled drugs, which carry on to be guarded by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971;
•    it provides powers to stop and check individuals, cars and shipments, enter and search grounds and to hold and destroy psychoactive substances if found;
•   it is an offence to manufacture, supply, offer to supply, possess with purpose to supply, possess on custodial grounds, import or export psychoactive substances (any substance or drug meant for human utilization that is able of creating a psychoactive effect). The maximum punishment for this offence is seven years’ imprisonment.

For a better understanding of the rules and regulations in cases of drug traffic and possession, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of defence solicitors in London.