Drugs & The Law

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 puts drugs into three classes. Each class has different legal penalties. The Medicines Act controls other substances. Just because a drug is Class C it does not mean it’s safer than a Class A drug, as different people can react to different drugs in different ways.

For more information about the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 visit the Home Office Website.

Class A Drugs

Ecstasy, Cocaine/Crack, Heroin, LSD, Magic Mushrooms when prepared (dried, cooked or stewed) and Amphetamine (when it is prepared for injection)

Maximum Sentences

  • Possession: 7 years and/or a fine
  • Supply: Life and/or fine.

Class B Drugs

Cannabis, Speed, Amphetamine

Maximum Sentences

  • Possession: 5 years and/or a fine
  • Supply: 14 years and or/ a fine.

Class C Drugs

Anabolic Steroids, Rohypnol, GHB, Temazepam, (if in possession without a prescription).

Maximum Sentences

  • Possession: 2 years and/or a fine.
  • Supply: 5 years and/or a fine.

Medicines Act Drugs

Ketamine and minor tranquilisers. These drugs can only be supplied by a pharmacist with a prescription from your doctor Any other supply is illegal. It is not illegal to possess these drugs unless you obtain them without a prescription from your doctor.

Other things you should know

  • You do not have to be found selling drugs to be charged with supply. Giving drugs away or sharing them with friends is ‘social supply’ and is also an offence.
  • Even if you look after someone else’s drugs and hand them back or if the Police find you with an amount of drugs that they think is too big to be for personal use, you can still be charged with intent to supply.
  • Possession with intent to supply carries the same legal penalties as actual supply.
  • It is also an offence to knowingly allow drugs to be produced, used, sold or even given away on the premises you are responsible for.
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs is also an offence and can be very dangerous for the driver, passengers and other people. The Government is proposing changes to the UK Drugs Laws.

For more information about drug & the law visit the Home Office website & Release a website about drugs & the law and human rights.

Related Links:

  • Drug & Alcohol Facts
  • Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) Service
  • Drug & Alcohol Service Contact Information
  • B:DAT Contact Information
  • B:DAT Local Strategy Documents
  • Useful Documents

External National Websites:

  • Release – Drugs The Law & Human Rights
  • Home Office – Drug Laws & Licencing
  • National Treatment Agency (NTA) For Substance Misuse