Drugs & the law

A third of all property crime is related to drugs. Around three quarters of crack cocaine and heroin users admit to committing crime to feed their habit.


We aim to protect our communities from the impact of drug use by tackling drug supply, drug-related crime and anti-social behaviour.

Illegal drugs are categorised under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The law puts legal and illegal drugs into three classes: A, B and C, according to the harm they can do to you, with Class A considered the most serious category.

See below how the most typical drugs are classified.

Class A

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Crack
  • LSD
  • Ecstasy
  • Injectable Amphetamines
  • Magic Mushrooms (all forms of psilocybin 'magic' mushrooms are now Class A drugs)
  • Any Class B drugs prepared for injection

Class B

  • Amphetamine
  • Codeine
  • Dihydrocodeine
  • Ritalin
  • Cannabis (herbal, resin,oil)
  • Ketamine
  • Mephedrone
  • Naphyrone
  • Some new psychoactive substances (formerly known as 'legal highs')

Class C

  • Some drugs without a valid prescription such a valium, steroids and rohypnol
  • GHB (Gammahydroxbutyrate)
  • Khat
  • Some new psychoactive substances (formerly known as 'legal highs')

Maximum penalties for drug offences

ClassPossessionSupply and production
A Up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both Up to life in prison, an unlimited fine, or both
B Up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both
C Up to 2 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both
Temporary class drugs* None, but police can take away suspected temporary class drug Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both

*The government can ban new drugs for 1 year under a ' temporary banning order' while they decide how the drugs should be classified. NBOMe and Benzofuran compounds are currently banned under this order.

(Source: gov.uk)

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