Class A, B and C drugs
The different kinds of illegal drugs are divided into three different categories, or classes. These classes (A, B and C) carry different levels of penalty for possession and dealing.
The legal status of fresh magic mushrooms has been changed. Now fresh mushrooms, as well as prepared ones, are class A drugs and are illegal.
Penalties for possession and dealing
|Class A||Ecstasy, LSD, heroin, cocaine, crack, magic mushrooms, amphetamines (if prepared for injection).||Up to seven years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.||Up to life in prison or an unlimited fine or both.|
|Class B||Amphetamines, Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Pholcodine.||Up to five years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.||Up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.|
|Class C||Cannabis, tranquilisers, come painkillers, Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Ketamine.||Up to two years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.||Up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.|
Class A, B and C drugs are termed as controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, with Class A being those considered most harmful.
The misuse of drugs act states that it is an offence to:
- Possess a controlled substance unlawfully
- Possess a controlled substance with intent to supply it
- Supply or offering to supply a controlled drug (even where no charge is made for the drug)
- Allow premises you occupy or manage to be used for the purpose of drug taking
Drug trafficking attracts serious punishment, including life imprisonment for Class A offences.
To enforce this law the police have special powers to stop, detain and search people under the 'reasonable suspicion’ that they are in possession of a controlled drug.