The lost symbol: a semiotic analysis of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016

Burgess, N. (2017) The lost symbol: a semiotic analysis of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016. Aberdeen Student Law Review, 7, pp. 109-120.

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Due to the resource-intensive and time-consuming requirement to provide evidence of a drug’s harms before it can be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, and the unprecedented rate at which New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), colloquially known as ‘legal highs’, have been appearing, the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 has been created to make the sale, production, importation, and, in some cases, possession, of psychoactive substances illegal, subject only to certain exemptions. However, in its attempt to curb the flow of NPS, the present Government seems to have created a law that is ambiguous and contradictory, and which symbolises an uncompromising stance on the prohibition of drugs. By using Bart van Klink’s recent work to assist evaluation, this article offers a critical analysis of the semiotics of the new statute, concluding that it is a flawed piece of legislation, even in symbolic terms.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Burgess, Nicholas
Authors: Burgess, N.
Subjects:K Law > K Law (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Journal Name:Aberdeen Student Law Review
Publisher:University of Aberdeen School of Law
ISSN (Online):2045-7359

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