With effect from 15 November 2011, the Home Secretary has the power under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to invoke a temporary class drug order for a new psychoactive substance that is raising sufficient concern for government to act quickly to protect the public.
Temporary class drug orders enable the government to act faster, on consideration of initial advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), to protect the public against emerging harmful new psychoactive substances while full expert advice is being prepared.
Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, as amended by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, enforcement partners will have powers to tackle illicit manufacturers, suppliers and importers of temporary class drugs. Those caught committing a temporary class drug offence will face severe criminal sanctions of up to 14 years' imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
The new working protocol agreed between the Home Secretary and the ACMD details how government and the ACMD will work under the new temporary control power.
There are no drugs currently subject to a temporary class drug order. This status will be updated where appropriate.
Further information on temporary control provisions under the 1971 Act, temporary class drug orders and temporary class drugs can be found in:
- our fact sheet setting out temporary control provisions and how temporary class drugs orders will work, including offences and criminal penalties
- the working protocol agreed by the Home Secretary and the ACMD
- the Home Office Circular 012/2011 – 'Amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971: Temporary class drug orders and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs'
- the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (Commencement No. 1) Order 2011, amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
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- Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
- Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (Commencement No. 1) Order 2011, amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
- Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (Section 151, Schedule 17)
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