Promulgation of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law and Its Rules


The State Law and Order Restoration Council by its Law No 1/93 promulgated the

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law on 27 January l 993.

The provisions of the Law were prepared in harmony with the UN Convention

against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

Empowered by the Law, the Minister for Health issued a notification prohibiting

the use of 126 types of narcotic drugs, 41 types of psychotropic substances, 3 types of

narcotic plants and 6 types of precursor chemicals.

The drugs addicts can now take medical treatment not only at the

Government hospitals but also at private clinics approved by the Government.

According to the new Law, action can be taken not only against trafficking of drugs but also against those who deal in

precursor chemicals used for producing drugs, and laundering of illegal money obtained through drug-related activities could also be controlled. Those offenders with previous records of offence could now be given the highest punishment and action could also be taken against hardcore offenders.


In order to effectively implement the Law, the Ministry of Home Affairs, on 17 July 1995, introduced the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Rules under Notification No. 1/95.


Altogether 5 notifications relating to Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances were

issued as follows;

(a)  Narcotic drugs prescribed: 

The Ministry of Health declared as narcotic drugs 125 items by its notification of April 20,1993 and 1 item by its notification of April 21,1994. By these notifications,

a total of 126 items were classified as

drugs. The list of the 126 narcotic drugs is shown in Appendix B.


(b)  Three prescribed narcotic plants: Mitragyna speciosa, Psilocybe mushrooms, and Peyote cactus (Mescaline).

Psilocybe mushrooms contain psilocybin and psilocin, unlikely to show on standard drug tests.

Specialized tests exist but are uncommon due to legal restrictions and limited usage.


(c)  Precursor

Chemicals prescribed:  Six precursor chemicals were declared as ingredients used in production of drugs under a notification issued by the Ministry of Health. They were: Acetic Anhydride, Acetone, Anthranilic Acid, Ethyl Ether, Phenylacetic Acid,

Piperidine, Ephedrine and Pesudoephedrine.


(d)  Psychotropic substances prescribed: 

Twenty eight items were declared as psychotropic substances by a notification of January 28, 1993. Another six items were declared on 1 July 1993 and 7 items were declared on 2 January 1996 as psychotropic substances making a total of 41 items. The list of the 41 Psychotropic Substances are shown in Appendix C.


(e)  Provision relating to medicines having Codeine base: 

In accordance with the notification dated April 20, 1993, of the Ministry of Health, there are 126 items classified as narcotic drugs. Among them, cough syrups,

Phensedyl, Corex, and Tixylix cough syrup produced in India, Phencodin cough syrups produced in Thailand, Glycerrhizae Compositate cough tablets (black ones) of China were included. These medicines are not to be in the hands of the patients nor the doctors. If they are carried about, consumed or traded, the person involved could have action taken against him.


(f) By Section 2 (a) (2) of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law of 1993, action could be taken against those medicines classified by notification of the Ministry of Health as drugs and those having characteristics of any of these medicines. Codeine is one declared as one such medicines.


(g) Even Comethazine which contains codeine having drug characteristic though it might be legally produced, if  used not in accordance with instructions included in the rules, can become one that required action to be taken against user.