On Thursday, 12 June, the Saeima supported in the second reading amendments to the Law on Procedures for the Legal Trade of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances and Medicinal Products. The amendments are aimed at combating the use of psychoactive herbal mixtures, or the so-called “spice mixes”. According to the new wording of the Law, substances that have not been included in the list of narcotic substances but may be equally damaging to a person’s health will be defined as the new psychoactive substances subject to a sales prohibition in Latvia.
“The amendments provide for a comprehensive definition of the new psychoactive substances that are not yet included in the list of narcotic substances. This means that the prohibitions on sale and use will apply to herbal mixtures as well. The criminalisation of the substances included in the temporary list has already brought noteworthy results –- the sales booths have disappeared from the legal market. These amendments will ensure that the sale and use of all psychoactive substances is prohibited and severely penalised,” said Aija Barča, Chairperson of the Social and Employment Matters Committee, which is responsible for the amendments.
Barča also pointed out that it is important to coordinate the new provisions with the amended Criminal Law, which imposes criminal liability for violations regarding the sale or use of psychoactive substances. The Saeima has set 15 August as the deadline for submitting additional proposals for the third reading of the Law.
The new psychoactive substances are defined as pure or derived natural or synthetic substances not registered as narcotics but which may be equally threatening to a person’s health, including stimulation or depression of the central nervous system causing hallucinations, changes in motor and sensory functions, altering perception, thinking, consciousness, behaviour or mood. It will be prohibited to cultivate, produce, manufacture, import, export, distribute, advertise, transport, store, transfer, sell or distribute for free, buy, use or transport in transit through the territory of Latvia the aforementioned substances or their derivatives.
If the new psychoactive substances are needed for scientific research, physical and chemical analysis or educational purposes, a special permit will have to be acquired from the State Agency of Medicines.
The amendments to the Law on Procedures for the Legal Trade of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances and Medicinal Products are still to be considered by the Saeima in the third reading.
Saeima Press Service