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Ireland Ecstasy Law Snafu Legalizes Some Drugs — but Only for a Day

Image: Ireland Ecstasy Law Snafu Legalizes Some Drugs — but Only for a Day
Jar Of Magic Mushrooms. (Robtek/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 01:22 PM

Ecstasy and other drugs became legal in Ireland this week, but only for a day, after an Irish court of appeals ruled that part of its Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 was unconstitutional.

The part of the law that allowed certain substances to be controlled was struck down by the appeals court, voiding all government bans on substances like ecstasy and magic mushrooms, noted The Guardian.

The ruling came about when Stanislav Bederev, who was being prosecuted for possession of methylethcathinone, argued that the drug was not added to the act until 2010 and insisted that any additions to the act without consulting both houses of the Irish parliament was unconstitutional.

The appeals court agreed, siding with Bederev's attorney's argument that it was illegal to add substances on the controlled drug list with no principle or policy guidelines on adding such drugs and no voice from parliament.

Ireland's Minister for Health Leo Varadkar told CNN that parliament was already working on legislation that would correct the argument if the appeals court ruled in Bederev's favor and said the provisions are on the fast track to be approved.

"We had no way of knowing what the court would decide today, but we prepared for this possibility," Varadkar said in a statement released by Ireland's Department of Health Tuesday. "Legislation was prepared and approved in advance by Cabinet. The emergency legislation I am introducing today will re-instate the status quo ante and re-control all drugs that were controlled prior to this judgment."

Ireland officials said that, while the possession of ecstasy was temporarily legal, the sale of the drug remained illegal and enforceable.

"There is always a degree of uncertainty about the outcome of court cases," said a statement released by the Irish Health Department. "The outcome of this case does not affect existing laws regarding the supply, possession or sale of older drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or cannabis.

"It does affect the possession of certain newer psychoactive substances which have been added to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 by successive governments. However, we are advised that sale and supply of psychoactive substances remains an offence under existing legislation," the statement continued.

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Ecstasy and other drugs became legal in Ireland this week, but only for a day, after an Irish court of appeals ruled that part of its Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 was unconstitutional.
ireland, ecstasy, law, legal, drugs, one, day
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2015-22-11
Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 01:22 PM
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