The law

From a museum perspective, the primary legislation is the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, all its subsequent amendments, and, Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. This legislation applies directly to museums that possess objects containing any controlled drug currently listed in relevant schedules of the Act and the Regulations. No distinction is made for drugs that are historic.

The legislation also covers certain types of object paraphernalia used in conjunction with controlled drugs including those used to smoke, inject, smuggle or contain drugs.

Advice on compliance can be sought from the Home Office’s Controlled Drugs Licensing Unit.