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Home > 343. Deputy Seán Barrett asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs his plans to control the activities of so-called headshops, in which mind altering drugs (details supplied) are sold as substitutes for banned drug substances; the place of headshops in the national drugs strategy; [24557/09]

[Oireachtas] 343. Deputy Seán Barrett asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs his plans to control the activities of so-called headshops, in which mind altering drugs (details supplied) are sold as substitutes for banned drug substances; the place of headshops in the national drugs strategy; [24557/09]. (23 Jun 2009)

URL: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2009/06/23/00254...


343.  Deputy Seán Barrett asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs his plans to control the activities of so-called headshops, in which mind altering drugs (details supplied) are sold as substitutes for banned drug substances; the place of headshops in the national drugs strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy John Curran):   The Department of Health and Children has the main responsibility in this area. Under the Misuse of Drugs Acts, the importation, exportation, production, supply and possession of a range of named narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are regulated and controlled. The list of scheduled substances is kept under review on an ongoing basis. In particular, the Department of Health & Children reviews any evidence that substances are being abused and are causing significant harm to public health. Such reviews would encompass EU decisions in regard to any substances, as recently happened in regard to BZP (Benzylpiperazine), the sale of which has been made illegal.

As ’legal highs’ are currently not controlled substances, there is no authority under the Misuse of Drugs legislation to prevent their sale in headshops. However, the activities of these establishments will continue to be monitored with a view to endeavouring to minimise any risks, especially in regard to the potential that the substances involved might have to encourage experimentation with illegal drugs.

One of the actions in the National Drug Strategy 2009-2016, which was very recently approved by Government, provides for the monitoring of the activities of headshops, and all businesses involved in the sale of psychoactive substances, with the objective of ensuring that no illegal activity is undertaken. It also recommends that steps are taken to reform legislation in this area where this is deemed to be appropriate.

Vol. 685 No. 3
Written Answers
Tuesday, 23 June 2009

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