With effect from 1 May 2021, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) will be listing 13 new psychoactive substances (NPS)1 in the First Schedule to the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) (see Annex A for the list of drugs).
2. Following the listing of the 13 NPS as Class A controlled drugs, the trafficking, manufacture, import, export, possession or consumption of these substances will constitute an offence under the MDA. Persons found guilty of trafficking Class A controlled drugs will face a minimum of five years’ imprisonment and five strokes of the cane. They will also be liable for enhanced penalties if they re-offend or sell to young or vulnerable persons. CNB will also be empowered to subject abusers of these NPS to supervision, commit them to a drug rehabilitation centre for treatment and rehabilitation, or charge them in court.
3. Their listing in the First Schedule will allow CNB to take decisive action against the abuse and trafficking of such substances.
Global NPS Situation
4. There has been a rapid increase in the number, types and availability of NPS across the globe. Based on a report released in April 2021 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, there were at least 1,047 NPS reported from 2008 to December 20202.
5. Many of these NPS have been reported in overseas journals to have no licit use. Their abuse has been linked to adverse physical and psychological reactions, including paranoia, seizures, hallucinations and even death. CNB regularly reviews its strategies to improve the detection and regulation of NPS, including the regular listing of NPS that have emerged in the market. A significant proportion of the NPS reported overseas are currently controlled under the MDA.
1 New psychoactive substances (NPS) are substances which produce the or similar effects as controlled drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, “ecstasy”, methamphetamine or heroin.
2 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Global SMART Update, April 2021, Vol 25, Regional Diversity and the Impact of Scheduling on NPS Trends.
CENTRAL NARCOTICS BUREAU
30 April 2021
The Fifth Schedule of the MDA was first enacted on 1 May 2013 to allow CNB to control and prevent the proliferation of NPS. NPS can be temporarily listed in the Fifth Schedule for up to 12 months, with a possibility of extension for another 12 months. The Fifth Schedule enables CNB to seize these NPS so that their circulation can be restricted while research and industry consultation are conducted. These processes are necessary before a substance is classified as a controlled drug. The trafficking, manufacture, import, export, possession or consumption of any substance, which is temporarily listed in the Fifth Schedule, will not constitute an offence under the MDA, until that substance is listed as a controlled drug in the First Schedule.
Substances Listed in the First Schedule as Class A Controlled Drug (with effect from 1 May 2021)
1. 4-Bromo-N-[2-(dimethylamino)cyclohexyl]-benzamide (also known as Bromadoline or U-47931E) and its bromo positional isomers in the phenyl ring and diamino positional isomers in the cyclohexyl ring
2. 4-Bromo-N-[2-(dimethylamino)cyclohexyl]-N-methyl-benzamide (also known as N-Methyl U-47931E or N-Methyl Bromadoline) and its bromo positional isomers in the phenyl ring and diamino positional isomers in the cyclohexyl ring
3. 3,4-Dibromo-N-methyl-N-(1-methyl-1-azaspiro[4.5]decan-6-yl)benzamide (also known as U-77891) and its dibromo positional isomers in the phenyl ring and their respective azaspiro[4.5]decanyl isomers
4. N,N-Diethyl-2-(2-(4-isopropoxybenzyl)-5-nitro-1H-benzo[d]imidazol-1-yl)ethan-1-amine (also known as Isotonitazene) and its diethylamino structural isomers and their respective isopropoxy positional isomers in the phenyl ring and nitro positional isomers in the 6-membered ring of the benzimidazole structure
5. 1-(1,2-Diphenylethyl)piperidine (also known as Diphenidine)
6. 2-(Ethylamino)-2-phenyl-cyclohexan-1-one (also known as Deschloro-N-ethyl-ketamine)
7. 2-(3-Fluorophenyl)-3-methylmorpholine (also known as 3-Fluorophenmetrazine or 3F-phenmetrazine) and its fluoro positional isomers in the phenyl ring
8. 5-(5-Hydroxypentyl)-2-(2-phenylpropan-2-yl)-pyrido[4,3-b]indol-1-one and its phenylpropyl isomers and their respective hydroxy positional isomers in the pentyl group
9. 1-[1-(2-Methoxyphenyl)-2-phenylethyl]piperidine (also known as 2-MeO-Diphenidine or 2-MXP or methoxphenidine) and its methoxy positional isomers in the phenyl ring
10. N-Methyl-5-(2-aminopropyl)benzofuran (also known as 5-MAPB) and its 4-yl, 6-yl and 7-yl isomers
11. 2-Phenyl-2-(methylamino)cyclohexanone (also known as Deschloroketamine)
12. 5-[(2-Phenylpropan-2-yl)-pyrido[4,3-b]indol-1-one-yl]pentanoic acid and its phenylpropyl isomers
13. 2,4,5-Trimethoxy-α-methylphenethylamine (also known as 2,4,5-Trimethoxyamphetamine or TMA-2) and its trimethoxy positional isomers in the phenyl ring