U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

St. Paddy's Day came early this year. Well, for drug enthusiasts, anyway.

A court ruling in Ireland struck down part of a drug law that banned substances such as ecstasy, crystal meth, and ketamine — and emergency legislation to close the loophole won't go into effect until Thursday, according to news reports.

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The ruling doesn't change the legal status of established drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, or cocaine, just more recently outlawed substances, the Irish Times reports.

A three-judge Court of Appeal struck down part of the country's Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 on Tuesday, which prohibits certain illicit substances. The court called the decision a "constitutional issue of far-reaching importance.”

The case that sparked the decision centered around possession of methylethcathinone, also known as 4-Mec (background here from Erowid). The legal team for the man caught with the drug, Lithuanian-born Stanislav Bederev, claimed that the addition of 4-Mec to the country's list of banned substances wasn't lawful, since there wasn't a policy in place for adding new drugs to the tally.

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Social media buzzed with people (presumably) joking about buying plane tickets to the Emerald Isle for a 24-hour binge. Ireland's satirical news source Waterford Whispers pithily summed up the reaction:

Ted Hesson was formerly the immigration editor at Fusion, covering the issue from Washington, D.C. He also writes about drug laws and (occasionally) baseball. On the side: guitars, urban biking, and fiction.