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  • Namita Pawa

Drugs: Classifications

For a drug to be criminalised, it needs to be a controlled drug, which is any drug that is listed in either Part I, II, or III of Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

The classification of drugs aims to regulate and control the use, possession and distribution of substances with the goal of protecting public health and safety.

Controlled drugs are divided into three separate classes – A, B and C. They are categorised based on how dangerous they are and their potential harm. Class A drugs are the most serious as they are considered the most harmful.

Examples of commonly known drugs that fall into the three classes are as follows:

  • Class A: Cocaine, Diamorphine (Heroin), Morphine, Phenethylamines derivatives (e.g. ecstasy/MDMA).

  • Class B: Cannabis, Speed and Ketamine.

  • Class C: Anabolic Steroids, Benzodiazepines and Khat.

The full list can be found here.

Legal disclaimer: Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein is accurate at the date of publication but please note that the law is ever changing and evolving. If you require advice in relation to any matter raised in this article please contact a member of the team.


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