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Ecstasy is now legal in ireland until 12 MarchReuters

A number of drugs such as ecstasy and crystal meth have become legal for a short period in Ireland, due to a legal loophole, while the government passes new emergency laws.

The Dáil has moved to pass through a new law banning legal highs and drugs such as ecstasy after the Court of Appeal ruled the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 was null and void.

The ruling declared the Act was being added "via regulations without recourse to the Oireachtas, in violation of article 15 of the Constitution", reported the Journal.

This means drugs previously banned by law are currently legal until new legislation is passed to reverse the situation.

The Dáil is due to sit in the evening of 10 March to pass the new laws, which will then be passed on to the Seanad the following day. The loophole means the amended law needs to be signed off by the Irish government's upper and lower houses and then by President Michael Higgins before it is passed.

This set of events is not expected to take place until midnight on 12 March. Until then, anyone caught in possession of drugs such as ecstasy will not face criminal charges.

Up to 100 drugs have been affected by the ruling, such as so-called "head shop" drugs like methylcathinone.

However, other drugs such as cannabis, heroin and cocaine are still illegal as they are outlawed by another area of the bill.

The government was said to have been told there could be a need for new emergency legislation prior to the court ruling but were told it was "highly confidential" until it was handed down.