Rosca, Paula, Arie Bauer, Razek Khawaled, Ety Kahana, and Keren Goldman. “The Recent Legal Approach to New Psycho-Active Substances Regulation in Israel: Does it Work?” Civil & Legal Sciences 4.2 (2015).
Background: New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), rapidly spreading on the global drug market have become a major concern in different Countries. The drug control systems did not allow a prompt and effective response to this phenomenon, due to the slow and complicated procedures to declare a substance dangerous and illegal. Aims: To briefly describe to legal background of drug control in Israel and illustrate the characteristics of the novel legislation. Method: The Authors summarize the legal approach to NPS control in Europe and in New Zealand, the first Country to opt for a pre-market approval regime for NPS, describing the legal alternative sad opted and describe the Israeli Law for the Fight against the Phenomenon of the Use of Dangerous Substances. Findings: The new legislation succeeded to close kiosks and retailers, marketing NPS to youth and young adults in the Country. The law is unique in that it includes both an urgent temporary declaration, whose violation is penal, banning a substance as dangerous with its inclusion after 12 months into the First Schedule of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, and the empowerment of the police forces to search, seize and destroy the dangerous substance, constituting an administrative procedure. The law is enforced using a novel, integrated model of enforcement, providing the cooperation of different control agencies, and avoiding to criminalize the consumers. Conclusions: The effectiveness of this legislation, although promising short-term results have been registered, has still to be ascertained and more time is needed in order to perform a scientific evaluation of its results but meanwhile its impact is already noticed in the Court decisions, which make a difference between NPS and other drugs such as Cannabis in the severity of the penalties.