Psychoactive Substances Bill [HL]

Explanatory Notes

Overview of the Bill

1 This Bill creates a blanket ban on the production, distribution, sale and supply of psychoactive substances in the United Kingdom.

2 Clause 2 defines a "psychoactive substance" for the purposes of the Bill. Schedule 1 lists substances, such as food, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, medical products and controlled drugs, which are excluded from the definition.

3 Clauses 4 to 9 make it an offence to produce, supply, offer to supply, possess with intent to supply, import or export psychoactive substances. The maximum sentence is seven years’ imprisonment. Clause 10 enables regulations to be made to provide for exemptions to these offences.

4 Clauses 11 to 34 provide for four civil sanctions – prohibition notices, premises notices, prohibition orders and premises orders (breach of the two orders will be a criminal offence) – to enable the police and local authorities to adopt a graded response to the production, supply etc of psychoactive substances in appropriate cases.

5 Clauses 35 to 53 provide for powers to stop and search persons, vehicles and vessels, to enter and search premises (under warrant) and to forfeit seized psychoactive substances and other items.

Prepared 22nd July 2015