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The Law

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 regulates what are termed 'controlled drugs' and divides these drugs into three classes:

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Class A

Ecstasy, LSD, heroin, cocaine, crack, PMA, magic mushrooms, amphetamines (if prepared for injection).

Class B

Amphetamines, cannabis, mephedrone, methylphenidate (Ritalin), Pholcodine.

Class C

Tranquilisers, some painkillers, Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), ketamine.

Maximum penalties under the Misuse of Drugs Act are:

Drug Classes
Penalty for Possession
Possession for dealing

Class A

Up to 7 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.

Up to life in prison or an unlimited fine or both.

Class B

Up to 5 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.

Up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.

Class C

Up to 2 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.

Up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.

Offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act can include:

  • Possession of a controlled substance unlawfully
  • Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to supply it
  • Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug (even where no charge is made for the drug)
  • Production, cultivation or manufacture of controlled drugs
  • Allowing premises you occupy or manage to be used unlawfully for the purpose of producing or supplying controlled drugs


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Drug help, support and advice for Oxfordshire:

01235 468405

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