Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 74 - National Drugs Strategy [Head shops] [39804/09].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 74 - National Drugs Strategy [Head shops] [39804/09]. (05 Nov 2009)

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74.  Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Health and Children if her attention has been drawn to the proliferation of head shops which have opened here; her views on same; if her further attention has been drawn to the products on sale through these outlets; her further views on whether the consumption of such products might lead to the involvement in the consumption of illicit substances and that some of the substances on sale in these outlets should be barred in the interest of public health; the action she will take or the legislation she will bring forward in this area; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [39804/09]

Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney):  The Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 and regulations made thereunder regulate and control the import, export, production, supply and possession of a range of named narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances listed in the Schedules to the Act. Substances are scheduled under the Act in accordance with Ireland’s obligations under international conventions and/or where there is evidence that the substances are causing significant harm to public health in Ireland.

Items available for sale in so-called ‘head shops’ such as "spice" or "snow" are currently not scheduled under Misuse of Drugs legislation. The list of scheduled substances is kept under ongoing review. For example, in 2006 psychotropic (‘magic’) mushrooms, which were on sale in such outlets, were banned and their possession and sale is now illegal. On 31 March 2009, BZP was similarly subjected to legislative control measures and criminal sanctions.

Deputy John Curran, Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, who has responsibility for co-ordinating the National Drugs Strategy, has identified head shops as an area of concern, and is currently considering the options available to more effectively control the activities of head shops. My officials are in contact with their counterparts in the Office of the Minister for Drugs in this regard.


Vol. 692 No. 6

Written Answers. National Drugs Strategy

Thursday, 5 November 2009

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