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Issue Date: 07/07/2005
Implementation Date: 18/07/2005

Home Office Circular 36 / 2005

Controlled Drugs: Magic Mushrooms

From: CRIME REDUCTION & COMMUNITY SAFETY GROUP, Drug Legislation and Enforcement Unit

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: 
Richard Mullins 020 7035 0463, Drug Legislation and Enforcement Unit Floor 6, Peel Building 2 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DF 
Email: Richard.Mullins1@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk 

 

THIS CIRCULAR IS ADDRESSED TO: 
Chief Officers of Police, (England and Wales), Chief Officer of Police, (Northern Ireland), Chief Officers of Police, (Scotland) , Circuit Administrators, Court Administrators, The Chief Clerk of the Crown Court, Clerks of Magistrates' Courts Committees , Clerks to the Justices , Clerks to the Police Authorities , The Chief Crown Prosecutor, Chief Probation Officers

COPIES ARE BEING SENT TO : 
Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, Association of Magisterial Officers , The Justices' Clerks' Society , The Law Society, The Magistrates' Association , Association of Chief Police Officers (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), The Central Council of Magistrates' Courts, Association of Justices' Chief Executives, Department for Constitutional Affairs

Broad Subject: Crime and Disorder

Sub Category: Drug offences


Dear Sir/Madam,

SECTION 21 OF THE DRUGS ACT 2005: INCLUSION OF MAGIC MUSHROOMS CONTAINING PSILOCIN ETC. AS CLASS A DRUGS

DRUGS ACT 2005 (COMMENCEMENT NO. 1) ORDER 2005 (S.I. 2005/1650)

MISUSE OF DRUGS (AMENDMENT) (No. 2) REGULATIONS 2005 (S.I. 2005/1653)

MISUSE OF DRUGS (DESIGNATION) (AMENDMENT) ORDER 2005 (S.I. 2005/1652)

Summary
1. This Circular describes changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and to secondary legislation made under that Act which are made by the above-named statutory instruments. All the changes come into force on 18 July 2005.

2. Section 21 of the Drugs Act 2005 (the 2005 Act) comes into force on 18 July 2005 by virtue of the Drugs Act 2005 (Commencement No. 1) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/1650). The Order was made under section 24(3) of the 2005 Act.

3. Section 21 amends the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (the 1971 Act) by inserting “Fungus (of any kind) which contains psilocin or an ester of psilocin” into Part I of Schedule 2 to the 1971 Act. It thereby classifies such fungi – commonly known as magic mushrooms – as a Class A drug. By virtue of the amendment made by section 21, it is therefore an offence to import, export, produce, supply, possess or possess with intent to supply magic mushrooms whatever form they are in, whether prepared or fresh. Section 21 extends to the United Kingdom by virtue of section 24(7) of the Act.

4. The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2005 (S.I. 2005/1653) (the 2005 Regulations) amend the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (S.I. 2001/3998). The 2005 Regulations also apply to the United Kingdom.

  • The 2005 Regulations provide exceptions from the offence of possession of magic mushrooms with effect from 18 July 2005. They make clear under what circumstances it is not unlawful to possess magic mushrooms. A person will not be committing an offence of possession of magic mushrooms if the mushrooms are growing uncultivated on his premises. Furthermore, a person will not be committing an offence of possession if he picks magic mushrooms for disposal (destruction or delivery to a person who can lawfully take custody of them) as soon as is reasonably practicable and holds them in accordance with that purpose.
  • The 2005 Regulations also enable the Secretary of State to issue a licence in respect of the production, supply, offer to supply or possession of psilocybe fungi (normally for research purposes).

5. A copy of the 2005 Regulations is attached at Annex A. Further information about the general background to this legislation and guidance relating to the 2005 Regulations is at Annex B.

6. The Misuse of Drugs (Designation) (Amendment) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/1652) (the 2005 Order), which is made under section 7(4) and (5) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, amends the Misuse of Drugs (Designation) Order 2001 (S.I. 2001/3997) by inserting into Part 1 of the Schedule to that Order “Fungus of any kind which contains psilocin or an ester of psilocin”. The 2005 Order, like the 2001 Order it amends, applies to the United Kingdom.

7. Controlled drugs that are designated under section 7(4) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 have no statutorily recognised medicinal use. A designation under section 7(4) of the 1971 Act has the effect of preventing section 7(3) of the Misuse of Drugs Act from applying to the controlled drug in question. Therefore the Secretary of State is not required to make regulations permitting certain professionals who usually work with controlled drugs (for example, doctors) to lawfully prescribe, administer, manufacture, compound, supply or possess a designated drug, except for purposes of research or other special purposes under licence or other authority issued by the Secretary of State.

8. Psilocin is an hallucinogen which was placed in Schedule 1 to the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971, the highest level of control. Psilocin and an ester of psilocin have, since 1973, been designated as controlled drugs that have no statutorily recognised medicinal use. The 2005 Order, on the recommendation of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, extends the designation to fungi of any kind which contain psilocin or an ester of psilocin as there is no statutorily recognised medicinal use for magic mushrooms.

9. A copy of the 2005 Order is attached at Annex C.

Internet information
10. The Drugs Act 2005 can be found at:– www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts.htm

11. The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2005 and the Misuse of Drugs (Designation) (Amendment) Order 2005 can be found at:– www.hmso.gov.uk/stat.htm

12. The 2005 Regulations and Order are published by The Stationery Office. Telephone orders/General enquiries 0870 600 5522 or online at www.tso.co.uk/bookshop (ISBN 0-11-072994-3 and 0-11-072993-5 respectively, price 3 each).

Yours faithfully,



Jeremy Sare
Drug Legislation and Enforcement Unit
Home Office

View attachments here:
2005-06-23 Magic mushrooms HOCAnnexC.doc
2005-06-30 Magic mushrooms HOCAnnexBfinal.doc
2005-06-23 Magic mushrooms HOCAnnexA.doc

This Document has been published from Lotus Notes

 



2005-06-23 Magic mushrooms HOCAnnexC.doc

2005-06-30 Magic mushrooms HOCAnnexBfinal.doc

2005-06-23 Magic mushrooms HOCAnnexA.doc