The design process can contain systematic evaluations of structure-activity relationships . It usually amounts to a slight chemical-structural change of a known intoxicating drug.
Some drugs are mistakenly classified as designer drugs, although they were not developed with the aim of making an intoxicant and an intoxicating effect was only discovered later, often by accident. Examples are amphetamine (“speed”), 3,4-methylenedioxy- N -methylamphetamine (“ ecstasy ”) and substances that were originally created in the process of drug development: heroin , fentanyl , phencyclidine (PCP), LSD , cocaine Etc.
One motive in the development of designer drugs is commercial. Since only substances recorded in the legal systems there are subject to the Narcotics Act, new intoxicants can be developed and distributed with impunity until the law is changed. The New Psychoactive Substances Act of 2016 tries to close this criminal liability loophole.
Legal situation from 2014 to 2016
Unless they were subject to the Narcotics Act or other legislation or regulation, new designer drugs were legal for private possession. According to the judgment of the European Court of Justice and confirmed by the Federal Court of Justice , designer drugs were used. B. were expressly marketed as a legal substitute for cannabis, not under the term medicinal product, which means that this form of criminalization was not compatible with German and European pharmaceutical law. The European Court of Justice concluded in its judgment:
"Art. 1 No. 2 letter b of Directive 2001/83 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 November 2001 on the creation of a Community code for medicinal products for human use in the scope of Directive 2004/27 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004, as amended, is to be interpreted as meaning that it does not cover substances such as those at issue in the main proceedings, the effects of which are limited to a simple influencing of the physiological functions without being suitable for being directly or indirectly beneficial to human health which are only consumed to induce a state of intoxication and which are harmful to health. "
- Cannabinoid herbal mixtures before the ECJ . Legal Tribune Online
- Legal highs - prohibition of cannabis substitutes partly unlawful . Time online
- Herbal mixture as a “legal high”: EU judges decide . derStandard.at
- BGH judgment on “Legal High” mixture - drugs are not drugs . taz.de
- Legal Highs - Why The Fight Against Designer Drugs Is So Tough . In: Badische Zeitung
- Judgment of the Court of Justice (Fourth Chamber) of July 10, 2014: “Medicinal products for human use - Directive 2001/83 / EC - Scope - Interpretation of the term 'medicinal product' - Meaning of the criterion of suitability to influence physiological functions - Products based on Herbs and Cannabinoids - Exclusion ”. curia.europa.eu