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Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

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The Misuse of Drugs Act makes the production, supply of controlled drugs unlawful, except in clearly defined circumstances (e.g., use of controlled drugs on medical prescription). 

Allowing one's premises to be used for the purpose of producing or supplying controlled drugs may also be unlawful.

To enforce the law the police have the special powers to stop, detain and search people on 'reasonable suspicion' that they are in possession of controlled drugs.

The Misuse of Drugs Act categorises controlled substances into three classes according to their relative harmfulness when used:

Class A Drugs 

This class includes ecstasy, cocaine, crack, magic mushrooms, methylamphetamine (crystal meth), heroin, LSD, mescaline, methadone, morphine, opium and injectable forms of Class B drugs.

Penalties for possession: up to seven years in prison or an unlimited fine, or both.

Penalties for dealing: up to life in prison or an unlimited fine, or both.

Class B Drugs 

This class includes oral preparations of amphetamines, barbiturates, cannabis, codeine and methaqualone (Mandrax).

Penalties for possession: up to five years in prison or an unlimited fine, or both.

Penalties for dealing: up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine, or both.

Class C Drugs

This class includes most benzodiazapines (e.g., Temazepam, Valium), ketamine, gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB), other less harmful drugs of the amphetamine group, and anabolic steroids.

Penalties for possession:  up to two years in prison or an unlimited fine, or both.

Penalties for dealing: up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine, or both.

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