The Council of the European Union has adopted on 27 November and published today (JO/L321) a Decision defining four new synthetic drugs as substances to be placed under control measures and criminal penalties in the EU Member States. The four drugs are 2C-I (2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenethylamine), 2C-T-2 (2,5-dimethoxy-4-ethylthiophenethylamine), 2C-T-7 (2,5-dimethoxy-4-(n) propylthiophenethylamine), and TMA-2 (2,4,5-trimethoxyamphetamine).
The decision, taken within the framework of the 1997 Joint action on new synthetic drugs, stems from concerns about health and social risks of the drug, presented in risk assessment reports produced by the scientific committee of the Lisbon-based EU drugs agency EMCDDA, together with experts nominated by the Member States and representatives of the European Commission, Europol and the EMEA.
The drugs 2C-I, 2C-T-2, 2C-T-7 and TMA-2 are amphetamine derivatives and have hallucinogenic and stimulant properties. Although there have been no reported cases within the EU of death or poisoning due to the drugs, they are believed to carry similar risks to other hallucinogenic drugs which are already listed under the Schedules 1971 of the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
All four drugs have already been detected in Member States and there has been one reported case of international trafficking of the drug 2C-T-2 within the EU. Laboratories involved in the production of the drugs have been seized in three Member States. 2C-I, 2C-T-2, 2C-T-7 and TMA-2 have no medical or industrial use and are already controlled in several Member States.
Following the publication of the Decision in the Official Journal of the European Union, and in line with their national laws, EU Member States have up to three months to introduce measures to control the four drugs, in compliance with their obligations under the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
This Council Decision confirms the effectiveness of the early-warning and risk-assessment mechanism provided for under the 1997 Joint action. The Commission is currently consulting the Council and European Parliament on its proposal for a new Council Decision to extend and reinforce the Joint action’s capacity.
Four new synthetic drugs (2C-I, 2C-T-2, 2C-T-7 and TMA-2) were singled out by the Council of the EU for risk assessment in December 2002. The decision followed consideration by the Council's Horizontal working party on drugs (HWPD) of an EMCDDA–Europol report providing the state of knowledge on these substances.
The meeting to assess the risks of 2C-I, 2C-T-2, 2C-T-7 and TMA-2 was convened under the auspices of Scientific Committee of the EMCDDA, extended with experts nominated by the Member States and representatives of the European Commission, Europol and the EMEA, and was held on 31 March and 1 April 2003 at the Centre's headquarters in Lisbon. The meeting produced formal reports on the risk assessments, which were adopted the same day. As foreseen in the Joint action, the reports were submitted without delay to the European Commission and to the Greek Presidency of the Horizontal working party on drugs of the Council of the EU for further action.