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Home > 205. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the position regarding the closure of head shops. [17523/10]

[Oireachtas] 205. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the position regarding the closure of head shops. [17523/10]. (29 Apr 2010)

External website: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2010/04/29/00180...


National drugs strategy

205. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the position regarding the closure of head shops; when legislation will be brought forward to tackle this blight; the initiatives that are planned to highlight the dangers of substances being sold in these shops; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
 
Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Pat Carey):  I am working with my Ministerial colleagues to ensure that speedy and effective action is taken to ensure that the new psychoactive substances being sold in headshops are removed from circulation, in as far as is possible. The National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016 includes two actions aimed at addressing the closely related issues of head shops and the substances they sell. Various approaches to addressing the issues involved are being considered within the context of these two actions in a co-ordinated way by the appropriate Departments and Agencies.
 
These include:
      An interdepartmental group is considering how best to draw up legislation to close down headshops. The approach to be taken may involve making it a criminal offence generally to supply unregulated psychotropic substances for use by humans. These deliberations are on-going;
      The Department of Health and Children has drafted regulations, under the Misuse of Drugs Acts, to introduce controls on a range of substances. These regulations will make the possession and sale of these substances illegal and subject to criminal sanctions. It is expected that these will be in place in July;
      The National Advisory Committee on Drugs is carrying out targeted research in this area which I expect to be completed by the end of July;
      The HSE, in association with partner agencies under the Drugs Strategy, is currently finalising a national drugs awareness campaign that will focus on the dangers of psychoactive substances available through headshops and the internet; and
      The activities of headshops are being closely monitored on an ongoing basis by An Garda Síochána and Revenue’s Customs Service, with a view to ensuring that no substances that are currently illegal are being sold.
 
I can assure the Deputy that the issue of headshops and new psychoactive substances is of serious concern to this Government and appropriate measures to address the concerns will be introduced as quickly as possible.
 
Vol. 707 No. 5
Written Answers – National Drugs Strategy
Thursday, 29 April 2010

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