Home > 54. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the action he will take to combat the problem of head shops. [18931/10]

[Oireachtas] 54. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the action he will take to combat the problem of head shops. [18931/10]. (11 May 2010)

URL: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2010/05/11/00023...


National drugs strategy

54. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the action he will take to combat the problem of head shops; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

 
81. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the discussions he has had regarding the response to head shops; the approach that he favours taking; and the timeframe within which it is expected the necessary legislation will be published and passed.
 
242. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if it is possible to control items sold in head shops; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
 
Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Pat Carey):  I propose to take Questions Nos. 54, 81 and 242 together.
 
As I stated in reply to today’s Priority Question No 48, I can strongly assure the Deputies that the Government is fully cognisant of the dangers posed by headshops and the psychoactive substances they sell, and I have been working closely with my Cabinet on colleagues on an inter-departmental basis to develop effective responses to the threats involved.
 
The Minister for Health and Children is introducing controls under the Misuse of Drugs Acts on a broad range of psychoactive substances, commonly referred to as “legal highs”, which are sold in headshops and through the internet. These regulations will be introduced with immediate effect. This follows approval by the relevant EU authorities. The regulations will make the possession and sale of the substances involved illegal and subject to criminal sanctions.
 
Also, following cross-departmental consideration of the issues involved, the Minister for Justice and Law Reform brought legislative proposals to Government today to make it a criminal offence to sell or supply substances that are not prohibited under the Misuse of Drugs Act, but that have psychoactive effects on humans. These proposals were accepted by Government and it hoped to have legislation drafted before the summer recess.
 
In addition, the Government is responding to the problem of headshops on a number of other fronts. For example:
      as part the current interdepartmental/agency response to the issue, relevant Departments and Government agencies are reviewing existing legislative provisions to establish whether headshops are in compliance with the legislative provisions applying;
      An Garda Síochána and Revenue’s Customs Service are closely monitoring the activities of headshops on an ongoing basis, with a view to ensuring that no substances currently illegal are being sold;
      the HSE, in association with partner agencies under the National Drugs Strategy, is finalising a national drugs awareness campaign that will focus on the dangers of psychoactive substances available through headshops and the internet; and
      the National Advisory Committee on Drugs has been asked to carry out some targeted research in this area.
 
I can assure the Deputies that I will continue to work closely with my Ministerial colleagues in vigorously pursuing all viable approaches to counter the threats posed by headshops and psychoactive substances.
 
Vol. 708 No. 3      
Written Questions – National drugs strategy
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Item Type:Dail Debates
Source:Oireachtas
Date:11 May 2010
EndNote:View
Subjects:L Social psychology and related concepts > Social context > Context encouraging substance use
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
L Social psychology and related concepts > Legal availability or accessibility
B Substances > New (novel) psychoactive substances
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Marketing and public relations (advertising) > Internet retailing (online sales / dark web)

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