The Dáil is to sit late this evening to pass emergency laws on drug control, after the Court of Appeal struck down the previous ban on over 100 drugs including ecstasy and crystal meth.
New laws will be needed to criminalise dozens of drugs, which also include crystal meth, ketamine and so-called 'benzos', following this morning's rulings.
The ruling from the Court of Appeal affects Section 2(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, which allows the government to declare some drugs as 'controlled substances' - and effectively to criminalse anyone who possesses them.
That section of the law has now been struck down as unconstitutional, and the orders banning those drugs are now void as a result.
Well over 100 drugs are affected, including the likes of ecstasy, ketamine, crystal meth, and so-called 'benzos' or benzodiazepines.
The ruling also overturns the ban on the so-called 'legal highs' which were previously freely available in headshops.
However the likes of cannabis, cocaine and heroin are banned under separate laws and are NOT affected.
It's believed the emergency legislation has been in the works for several days, and was published shortly after noon today.
The new emergency bill - which aims to restore the previous ban - will be debated in the Dáil from 8pm tonight and passed before 11pm.
However it will also need to be rushed through the Seanad tomorrow morning, before President Higgins can be asked to sign it into law.
Even then, the new law will only take effect from midnight on Thursday - meaning the drugs are effectively legalised for the 37 hours between the court's ruling and the implementation of the new emergency laws.
In the meantime, it will NOT be a criminal offence to possess any of the previously banned drugs - while the ruling also raises questions about any criminal prosecutions taken under the previous law, stretching back almost 40 years.
This afternoon health minister Leo Varadkar said the number of criminal cases affected was likely to be in the "dozens", but that many people convicted under the disputed section would also have been convicted under separate laws which remain in effect.
He also stressed that the sale, supply, import and export of the controlled substances was still a crime.
This means that although it is now legal to buy and possess the drugs, it is illegal to supply or sell them to someone else.