Hong Kong (HKSAR) - A spokesperson for the Security Bureau said today (January 12) that the Government would publish the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Amendment of First Schedule) Order 2011 and the Control of Chemicals Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 2) Order 2011 in the gazette this Friday (January 14).
The two Orders will add three types of synthetic substances, namely, "derivatives of piperazine", "synthetic cannabinoids" and "derivatives of cathinone", to the First Schedule to the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, and the chemical 1-[(2-Chlorophenyl)-N-(methylimino)methyl]cyclopentanol and its salts to Schedule 2 to the Control of Chemicals Ordinance respectively.
The spokesperson said, "The amendments aim to deter the trafficking and abuse of the dangerous drugs concerned and help fortify Hong Kong's defence line in the fight against drugs."
The spokesperson added, "The synthetic substances 'derivatives of piperazine', 'synthetic cannabinoids' and 'derivatives of cathinone' have gained popularity overseas as psychotropic drugs. Their harm is commensurate with other psychotropic drugs such as ecstasy, cannabis or amphetamines and will bring serious and irreversible harm to abusers.
"The Order will subject these substances to the same strict control as other dangerous drugs.
Those prosecuted of illicit trafficking and manufacture of these substances are liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $5 million and life imprisonment. Those prosecuted of possession and consumption of these substances are liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for seven years.
"The chemical 1-[(2-Chlorophenyl)-N-(methylimino)methyl]cyclopentanol and its salts can be used as precursor chemicals for the production of ketamine through simple processes. Whilst there has not been any reported case of manufacturing of ketamine in Hong Kong, taking into consideration of the prevalence of ketamine in Hong Kong, we propose to subject these substances to legislative control as a precautionary measure," the spokesperson said.
"The Order will subject the manufacture, import, export and transhipment of the substances under the control of the Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation.
The manufacture, import, export and storage of the substances will require a licence or storage approval from the Commissioner of Customs and Excise. Possession, manufacture, transport or distribution of the substances for the purpose of unlawful production of dangerous drugs is liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for 15 years."
The spokesperson said that the Government had consulted the Action Committee Against Narcotics and the Panel on Security of the Legislative Council and they supported the proposed amendments. The Administration had also sought the views of relevant trades and stakeholders.
Both Amendment Orders will be introduced into the Legislative Council on January 19, 2011 and are expected to become effective on April 1.