The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016

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Latest news: Apr 20 2017

Is this law still a mystery to you? Then read on...

While 'Spice' (a term often incorrectly given to mean one drug, that is in fact an original generic name for a group of synthetic cannabinoid agonists, or SCRAs) is munching up the column inches of various newspapers again, the term "legal highs" also never seems to be far away. At Crew, we've had a small but steady line of people continuing to enquire about "legal highs", who don't seem to be fully aware of the changes in law that happened last May, namely the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, or PSA.

The PSA specifically moved New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) - drugs previously known as 'legal highs' - that were not already covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act, to being prohibited: manufacture, supply and distribution are all punishable offences under the law, though possession is not necessarily an offence, though there are exceptions. The law seeks to also cover drugs that may be produced in the future that can be shown to have certain psychoactive effects.

Some drugs that were originally put under controlling orders via the PSA, have now been given classification under the Misuse of Drugs Act, which carries different penalties, and where possession is automatically an offence.

If you're still mystified by the PSA and would like to gen up, the "Simple(ish) Guide to the Psychoactive Drugs Act" from Drugwise is a pretty useful place to start.