Legal controls on synthetic cannabinoids: an international dilemma

At our October Meeting, Ric Treble form LGC Standards, presented on the legal controls on synthetic cannabinoids. By popular demand this presentation is being made openly available.

Please click here to access the presentation.

2013 Annual Report on the Home Office Forensic Early Warning System (FEWS)

The Forensic Early Warning System (FEWS) is a system to identify New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in the UK. It was set up to enable the Government to take action before a harmful substance takes a foothold in the UK. This report describes activities undertaken, and provides results of the analysis of samples tested under FEWS between April 2012 and March 2013. The report also highlights key learning points from the results and key messages on the harms and risks associated with the use of NPS.

MHRA Medicine Recall Alert

Morningside Healthcare Limited has informed the MHRA that a small number of blisters containing Buprenorphine 8mg Sublingual Tablets from batch number 13D22 have inadvertently been packed in cartons labelled Natzon 0.4mg Sublingual Tablets with the same batch number, 13D22. For more information please visit the relevant page on the MHRA website

Thermo Scientific Clinical and Forensic Toxicology User Meeting

Thermo Scientific would like to invite you to join them for their Clinical and Forensic Toxicology User Meeting at The Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London on Thursday October 3rd 2013. Attendance is free but interested parties are advised to register early to reserve their space and avoid disappointment. Please email


Tony Moffat honored with the 2013 Alan Curry Award

At this years annual conference of The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT) - held in Funchal, Madeira - Tony Moffat was honored with the 2013 Alan Curry Award. The Alan Curry Award is the most prestigious TIAFT award given to members who have a long history of distinguished contributions to the field of forensic toxicology, and to the TIAFT organisation. LTG Chair Stephen Morley accepted the award on Tony's behalf.

New Guidelines from UNODC

Two new documents from UNODC have been added to the "Guidelines" section of our website. The guidelines are "Recommended methods for the Identification and Analysis of Piperazines in Seized Materials" and "Recommended methods for the Identification and Analysis of Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists in Seized Materials".

You can find them both here: LTG Guidelines section.

Department for Transport Consultation on new drug driving offence

On the 9th July 2013 the Department for Transport launched a consultation on the new offence of driving with a specified drug in the body above the specified limit. Views are invited on the Government’s proposed approach, as laid out in the consultation document. The consultation will run for 10 weeks, concluding on the 17th September 2013. To view the consultation document please click here.

Important drug legislation policy updates

The Minister for Crime Prevention, Jeremy Browne MP, has placed a temporary class drug order (TCDO) on two groups of new psychoactive substances (NPS) – the ‘NBOMe’ and ‘Benzofuran’ substances (25I-NBOMe and 5- and 6-APB respectively, including other related substances) – under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, following recommendations from the Government’s experts, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) regarding their harms and effects warranting temporary control.

The ACMD’s advice is available at The Minister for Crime Prevention’s response to the ACMD’s advice can be found at

The TCDO will come into force at 00.01 on Monday 10 June. Subject to Parliament’s approval within 40 days, the TCDO will remain in force for up to 12 months while the ACMD undertakes a full assessment on these two groups of NPS for consideration for permanent control under the 1971 Act.

A copy of the TCDO (SI: 2013/1294) and its accompanying documents (Explanatory Memorandum and Impact Assessment) will all be available shortly on the UK legislation website at  A Home Office Circular will also be published shortly at

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