Ireland’s party people are basking in a state of utopia for the next 24 hours thanks to a judgment call over the constitutionality of the country’s drug laws, which has resulted, at least by accident, in a number of illicit substances, like crystal meth, ecstasy and psilocybin, to be made legal on a temporary basis.
According to a report from the Irish publication The Journal, a verdict was handed down earlier this week in the Court of Appeal in regards to the 1977 Misuse of Drugs Act that effectively legalized the possession of specific illegal drugs. The ruling determined that the almost four-decade-old law was unconstitutional, which at the sound of the gavel, inadvertently eliminated the country’s statue on the possession of hallucinogenic substances and feel good powders.
“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 offence. These include ecstasy, benzodiazepines and new psychoactive substances, so-called ‘headshop drugs’,” according to a statement from the Department of Health.
However, once the word of this discrepancy reached the door of the Irish Parliament, lawmakers enacted emergency legislation to replace the 1977 Act with a modern day version of the government’s prohibitionary stance on illegal drugs. Yet, while this measure was quickly put into place, a loophole in the system will not allow the new law to take effect until Thursday at midnight. Until then, the possession of dozens of drugs like methamphetamine and magic mushrooms cannot be prosecuted under any statute of Irish law.
“We had no way of knowing what the Court would decide today, but we prepared for this possibility,” said Health Minister Leo Varadkar. “Legislation was prepared and approved in advance by Cabinet. The emergency legislation I am introducing today will re-instate the status quo ante and re-control all drugs that were controlled prior to this judgment.”
Unfortunately, this purgatory for prohibition, of sorts, does not include all illegal drugs. The report indicates that around 125 substances, including marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, remains illegal and punishable under Ireland’s drug laws.