Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 147 - Misuse of drugs [Head shops] [27050/10].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 147 - Misuse of drugs [Head shops] [27050/10]. (23 Jun 2010)

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147. Deputy James Reilly asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, further to Parliamentary Question No. 331 of 15 June 2010, the number of headshops that the Garda are aware of that shut down after 11 May 2010; the numbers of these headshops that the Garda now know have reopened; and if he will make a statement on the matter. 

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): I am advised by An Garda Síochána that up to 26 April 2010, there were 102 Head shops operating in the State. Between 26th and 30th April, 2010, as part of Operation ‘Kingfisher’, these premises were visited by members of An Garda Síochána and 16 were found to have closed or ceased trading, with a remaining 86 outlets operating nationwide.
On 11th May 2010 regulation of certain psychotropic substances was introduced and a number of these premises subsequently closed down. As of 14th June, 2010, records at the Garda National Drugs Unit show a total of 44 headshops operating nationwide, with 42 having closed since 26th April, 2010. The situation is being closely monitored by the Commissioner, his senior management team and the D/Chief Superintendent, of the Garda National Drugs Unit.
As the Deputy is aware the Minister for Justice & Law Reform has published the Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Bill 2010 which he hopes to have enacted within weeks. Under the Bill, the sale or supply of substances which are not specifically proscribed under the Misuse of Drugs Acts, but which have psychoactive effects, for human consumption will be a criminal offence. The Bill will give appropriate powers to An Garda Síochána and the courts to intervene quickly to prevent outlets from selling these products by way of appropriate prohibition orders. The Scheme will also contain full search and seizure powers for the Gardaí and Revenue’s Customs Service.
The Bill is part of the Governments multi-pronged approach targeting the activities of head shops. On foot of the Government Order of 11 May, the Minister for Health and Children made the necessary statutory instruments to make the sale of substances commonly sold in head shops subject to criminal sanctions under the Misuse of Drugs Acts.
Vol. 713 No. 2
Written Answers – Misuse of Drugs
23 June 2010

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