The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) is seeking to ammend the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act in order to stop the proliferation of the so-called “law-evading drugs” or a variation of the synthethic drugs that have already been outlawed. This would include providing stricter penalties for those caught using and in possession of the pharmaceuticals.
The makers of these drugs were trying to stay one step ahead of the law by making new variants that make just slight alterations to the molecular structure of the existing ones. The drugs are commonly used as a gateway to the use of harder narcotics and can induce the same affects as narcotics. The MHLW expanded the list of outlawed drugs to cover those that have similar components. Under these new rules of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act, implemented in February this year, there are 890 drugs that are forbidden from being produced or sold.
The new proposed bill to ammend the Act, to be submitted in the current extraordinary session, will further outlaw the possession, use, purchase or receipt of any of these 890 drugs except for medical or research purposes. Punishment can be up to three years in prison or a fine of 3 million yen. The current Act already has a similar penalty for those who produce or sell the drugs and up to five years or five million yen for those who are dealing them as a business.
[ via The Mainichi ]