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Amendments to Dangerous Drugs Ordinance to be gazetted on May 5
     A spokesperson for the Security Bureau said today (May 2) that the Government will publish the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Amendment of First Schedule) Order 2017 in the Gazette this Friday (May 5).

     The Order will add phenazepam, MT-45 and 4,4'-DMAR to the First Schedule to the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (the Ordinance).

     The spokesperson said, "The amendments aim to deter the trafficking and abuse of phenazepam, MT-45 and 4,4'-DMAR. This will help to fortify Hong Kong's defence line in the fight against drugs."

     The spokesperson added, "Studies reveal that phenazepam has severe toxicity when concomitantly used with other central nervous system depressant drugs and alcohol, which increase the risk of respiratory depression and death. MT-45 is a synthetic opioid which has a high addictive potential and abuse liability, with a potency comparable to morphine. As for 4,4'-DMAR, it is a novel psychoactive substance. Symptoms in its users include agitation, hyperthermia, foaming at the mouth, breathing problems and cardiac arrest.

     "The Order will subject the above three substances to the same strict control as other dangerous drugs under the Ordinance. Those prosecuted for illicit trafficking and manufacture of these substances are liable to a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of $5 million. Possession and consumption of the substances in contravention of the Ordinance also constitute criminal offences."

     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 Government had also sought the views of relevant trades and stakeholders.

     The Order will be tabled at the Legislative Council on May 10, 2017, and is expected to become effective on July 7, 2017.
Ends/Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:00
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