New psychoactive substances: Commission proposes new ban and strengthens the EU's Early Warning System and risk assessment

New Psychoactive SubstancesToday, the European Commission has proposed to subject the new psychoactive substance MDMB-CHMICA (sometimes referred to as ‘Black Mamba’) to control measures across the European Union. 

According to the risk assessment report provided by EMCDDA, the acute toxicity of MDMB-CHMICA can cause severe harm to the health of individuals. So far, eight Member States have reported 28 deaths and 25 acute intoxications associated with MDMB-CHMICA. Multiple reports have also indicated the possibility that its use causes violence and aggression.

On the basis of the risk assessment report and following the proposal from the European Commission, the Council, having consulted the European Parliament, may decide to subject the drug to control measures throughout the EU. In such a case, EU Member States would then be required to introduce such controls in line with national laws no later than one year after the Council’s decision.

This week, the Commission also proposed an amendment to the founding Regulation of the EMCDDA to allow for swifter and more effective EU action in the fight against new psychoactive substances. The proposal aims at further strengthening the EU Early Warning System and risk assessment on new psychoactive substances by streamlining and speeding up data collection and assessment procedures. It is part of the new approach agreed with the European Parliament and the Council to advance the negotiations on the package of legislative proposals on NPS proposed in September 2013. 

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: ‘The number, type and availability of harmful new drugs continue to grow in Europe, and Member States cannot effectively fight the spread of these new psychoactive substances alone. Our proposal to subject MDMB-CHMICA or "Black Mamba" to control measures is part of our efforts to effectively address the threat posed by new psychoactive substances on a European level. The same is true for our proposal to strengthen the EU's early warning system and risk assessment - it will allow for a more systematic and sophisticated monitoring and swifter decision-making on new psychoactive substances.

European Commission press release http://europa.eu/rapid/midday-express-31-08-2016.htm

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