Controlled Drugs

Home Office circular 041 / 2006

Controlled Drugs

  • Broad subject: Crime and Disorder
  • Issue date: Thu Dec 21 00:00:00 GMT 2006
  • From:
    Crime Reduction and Community Safety Group (CRCSG) - Crime and Drugs Strategy Directorate, Drug Legislation and Enforcement Unit (DLEU)
  • Linked circulars:
    No Linked Circulars
  • Copies sent to:
    Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, Association of Magisterial Officers, The Central Council of Magistrates' Courts, The Justices' Clerks' Society, The Law Society, The Magistrates' Association, Association of Chief Police Officers (England,Wales and Northern Ireland), Department for Constitutional Affairs, Judicial Studies Board
  • Sub category: Drug offences
  • Implementation date: Thu Jan 18 00:00:00 GMT 2007
  • For more info contact:
    Richard Mullins - 020 7035 0463
  • Addressed to:
    Chief Officers of Police (England and Wales), Chief Officer of Police (Northern Ireland), Chief Officers of Police (Scotland), Circuit Administrators, Court Administrators, The Chief Clerk of the Crown Court, Clerks of Magistrates' Courts Committees, Clerks to the Justices, Clerks to the Police Authorities, The Chief Crown Prosecutor, Chief Probation Officers

Dear Sir/Madam

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (amendment) Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/3331): Reclassification of Methylamphetamine


1. This Circular describes a change to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 made by the above-named statutory instrument.

2. The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/3331) reclassifies methylamphetamine, previously a Class B drug, as a Class A drug by moving it from Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to Part 1 of that Schedule. The change comes into force on 18 January 2007. There are no transitional provisions. The Order, like the Act it amends, applies to the United Kingdom.

3. Methylamphetamine, also known as 'crystal meth' or 'ice', is a harmful drug, possession of and activities in relation to which will become subject to more severe criminal sanctions following reclassification to Class A. The drug’s salts will also become Class A drugs by virtue of paragraph 4 of Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Misuse of Drugs Act.

4. As a Class A drug, the maximum penalty for unauthorised production, importation or supply of methylamphetamine will be life imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. The maximum sentence for the offence of possession of methylamphetamine will be 7 years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

5. Reclassification will also enable the police and courts to close premises which have been used in connection with the the unlawful use, production or supply of methylamphetamine, where there is associated disorder or serious nuisance under the “crack house” closure provisions in the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003.

6. A copy of the Order in Council is attached at Annex A. Background information relating to the reclassification of methylamphetamine is at Annex B.

Recording methylamphetamine offences

7. The new codes for recording methylamphetamine offences by the police for Home Office statistical purposes are contained in the annual police letter amendments to the code lists sent out on 29 September 2006. The codes are no longer provisional.

Internet information

8. The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2006 can be found at:–

9. The legislation is published by The Stationery Office. Telephone orders/General enquiries 0870 600 5522 or online at (ISBN 0-11-xxxxxx-x, price £x).

10. A copy of this circular can be found at:–

Yours faithfully,

Angela Scrutton
Crime and Drug Legislation and Enforcement Unit
Home Office


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