Loophole Makes Drug Ecstasy Legal in Ireland

Lawmakers are rushing to fix after court ruling
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2015 4:34 PM CDT
Loophole Makes Drug Ecstasy Legal in Ireland
This photo shows 54 red ecstasy pills purchased by undercover police in the Netherlands.   (AP Photo/Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice)

A court ruling in Ireland has done a strange thing—legalized possession of certain psychoactive drugs such ecstasy, ketamine, and magic mushrooms. But the freedom is expected to last only about a day as lawmakers race to make the drugs illegal again, reports TheJournal.ie. The rush legislation became necessary after an appeals court today declared a 1977 drug law to be unconstitutional, though the ruling didn't affect older drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, reports the Irish Examiner. Lawmakers knew the decision was potentially looming and had legislation prepared in advance, but it will take about 24 hours to get it in place.

"All substances controlled by means of Government Orders made under section 2(2) cease to be controlled with immediate effect, and their possession ceases to be an offense," says Ireland's Department of Health, as per the Irish Times. "These include ecstasy, benzodiazepines, and new psychoactive substances, so-called 'headshop drugs.'" While the loophole will be quickly fixed, the court's decision means that "dozens" of previous convictions have been called into question, says the nation's top health official. They'll have to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. (More Ireland stories.)

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