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.
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.
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.