Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 397 - National Drugs Strategy [Head shops].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 397 - National Drugs Strategy [Head shops]. (08 Jul 2010)

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397. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice and Law Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 62 of 30 June 2010, the number of head shops raided by the gardaí since the ban on certain substances took effect on 11 May 2010; the substance and quantities of same confiscated; the numbers arrested, charged and against whom prosecutions are pending. [31364/10] 

Minister for Justice and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): I am informed by the Garda authorities that following the regulation of certain psychotropic substances on 11 May 2010 under the Misuse of Drugs Acts, and as part of Operation Kingfisher under the direction of the Garda National Drugs Unit, members of An Garda Síochána in each Garda District throughout the State visited every Head Shop to investigate their activity.

As part of this Operation, Gardaí took into possession all cannabanoid products, controlled cathinone substances and any substances suspected to contain benzylpiperazine or its derivatives. The total amount of substances involved was in excess of 4.5 tonnes. 

As a result of the legislative measures introduced on 11 May a considerable number of headshops across the country have already closed down with Garda National Drug Unit records showing as on 14 June 2010 that a total of 44 headshops remain in operation nationwide.
In addition to the initial Garda visits to all headshop outlets on 12 May 2010, the Garda National Drugs Unit and local Drug Units continue to visit the remaining outlets on an ongoing basis to conduct test purchasing of substances and to monitor their activities.
No arrests have been made to date arising from this but prosecutions will be pursued in cases where any controlled drugs are detected in the products sent for analysis.
In addition to this the Deputy will be aware of the Criminal Justice legislative measures which I have introduced which outlaw the sale of psychotropic substances which were passed through the Oireachtas earlier this week.
These measures will further enhance our response in tackling this problem.
Vol. 715 No. 2
Written Answers - National Drugs Strategy                 
Thursday, 8 July 2010

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