By Yhanick Scott
Hundreds of drugs including ecstasy, crystal meth and mushrooms have been temporarily legalized in Ireland. Even if you are found with these drugs, you will not be breaking any laws and cannot be charged with possession of an illegal substance. The alarming law has the whole country talking about it and came about as a result of a legal loophole.
The Court of Appeal on Tuesday found aspects of the 1977 Misuse of Drugs Act to be invalid. It was found to be unconstitutional as a result of technicalities in the legislation. Successive governments have been adding drugs to its banned list for the past 37 years since the bill has been passed. It was later found out that both houses of the Irish parliament had not signed off on the different drugs that have been added to the list, making all those additions currently invalid and the drugs theoretically legal.
Some drugs remain illegal, such as heroin and cocaine, but drugs added after the prohibited ones are legal.
Lawmakers are now scrambling to enact emergency legislations to cover this loophole. Interestingly, the selling, supply, import and export of these substances remain illegal under existing legislations.
The law came under scrutiny after a Lithuanian man made an appeal after being found with one of the substances added to the banned list wrongfully in 2010. He argued that drugs could be added and subtracted from the banned list based on the discretion of the health minister with no interference from the Irish parliament. The court agreed that it should not be left up to the Minister of Health to make such determinations. The ruling caused the temporary legalization of these drugs.
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