The Slatest

Lots and Lots of Drugs Are Now (Temporarily) Legal in Ireland Because of Technicality

This. Is. Happening.

Photo by Agung Parameswara/Getty Images

As of Tuesday in Ireland, a whole class of psychoactive drugs, as well as ecstasy, ketamine, shrooms, crystal meth, are now (temporarily) legal in the country. It’s not that Ireland—never particularly known for its freewheeling social liberalism—has gotten more open-minded about drug use, rather a legal technicality rendered the Irish law prohibiting the possession of about 100 of these newer drugs unconstitutional and therefore null and void because it had been enacted without consulting the Irish parliament.


The Irish parliament had emergency legislation in the works on Tuesday night to make the drugs illegal again, but it will reportedly take 24 hours for the new law to be enforceable—which makes Dublin the place to be until approximately midnight on Wednesday night. Until then, the Irish Times reports, “[p]ossession is technically legal, albeit temporarily, until the emergency legislation is passed, although it remains illegal to purchase the substances.”

Here’s more on Ireland ended up as the techno dance capital of the world on Tuesday night from NBC News:

A three-judge appeals court ruled Tuesday afternoon that government orders four years ago banning possession of about 100 newer drugs like ecstasy were unconstitutional because they were unilaterally added by government ministers to a 1977 law. Calling that “an impermissible delegation of the legislative power,” the panel said the proper way to update the law was to go to lawmakers for consultation and amendment.