Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 - Forensic Strategy: "a useful document for our members'"

The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (the PS Act) differs from the established approach to drug control under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MDA). The PS Act covers substances by virtue of their psychoactive properties, rather than the identity of the drug or its chemical structure. Consequently, there is a requirement for a new forensic capability.

This strategy sets out guidance for Forensic Service Providers (FSPs), law enforcement agencies, prosecuting agencies and expert witnesses to support the operation of the PS Act. It provides guidance on the scientific principles for the new testing regime and the process and evidential considerations to support criminal and civil sanctions under the PS Act. The strategy has been developed by the Home Office with input from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).

This strategy does not relate to those drugs controlled under the MDA which remains the primary legislation for drug control in the UK.  For controlled drugs, the normal forensic and evidential processes and requirements apply.

Download here the full document in pdf.

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