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Home > Deputy Denis Naughten: requested information on secondary legislation under the Misuse of Drugs Act; as earlier this week the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform announced that he asked the Attorney General to examine the regulation of all psychotropic drugs.

[Oireachtas] Deputy Denis Naughten: requested information on secondary legislation under the Misuse of Drugs Act; as earlier this week the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform announced that he asked the Attorney General to examine the regulation of all psychotropic drugs. (22 Apr 2010)

External website: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2010/04/22/00004...


Order of business

Deputy Denis Naughten: On secondary legislation under the Misuse of Drugs Act, earlier this week the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform announced that he asked the Attorney General to examine the regulation of all psychotropic drugs, I presume along the lines of the regulation and legislation introduced a number of years ago on animal medicines and the control of chemicals such as clenbuterol. It is probably the way to deal with the issue of head shops. This morning, the newspapers quote the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Deputy Carey, speaking about the difficulties with the Government’s current and continuing approach of banning individual products. Will the Tánaiste find out which approach will the Government take? Will it take the approach of banning individual products or banning the chemicals that have a particular impact on the brain?
In the context of the draft secondary legislation that has now gone to Brussels——
 
An Ceann Comhairle: We do not need the elaboration. We will see what is happening on the secondary legislation.
 
Deputy Denis Naughten: Last week, under secondary legislation the UK Government banned a second series of chemicals being sold in head shops. We are still waiting for the first set of chemicals to be banned. They will not be banned until July. Included in that is methadrone. Already in the UK——
 
An Ceann Comhairle: Too much information is being imparted altogether.
 
Deputy Denis Naughten: ——a replacement chemical is being sold on the market called sub coca dragon. These chemicals have not yet been banned in this country and alternatives are already on sale. When will the legislation be signed into law? The British Government can do it overnight and has done so on two separate occasions——
 
An Ceann Comhairle:  Deputy, please. Some respect for the Chair would be in order.
 
Deputy Denis Naughten: ——and we are still waiting for the EU to give us permission to sign the order. Will the order be signed and ensure the chemicals are banned immediately?
 
Deputy Jan O’Sullivan: On the same issue——
 
An Ceann Comhairle: Very briefly.
 
Deputy Jan O’Sullivan: Will the Government consult with the EU to see whether we can change this sooner than three months? It is being reported in the media today that illegal drug-dealers are buying up these products to sell them when they are banned and that is subverting the course of justice.
 
An Ceann Comhairle: It is not necessary to impart all of this information. We will inquire about the secondary legislation.
 
Deputy Jan O’Sullivan: It is, because it is an argument the Government can take to Europe and ask to be allowed do this sooner than three months because the law is being subverted by illegal drug dealers. It is logical to argue for the introduction of secondary legislation to ban these products now.
 
The Tánaiste: The Government will introduce the banning of individual products and chemical derivatives. The British Government, under emergency measures, notified the European Commission of the banning of certain drugs. The only difficulty that has arisen is that one must formally make a notification, which takes three months. The Government has been in touch with the European Commission with regard to the use of the emergency procedures and whether they would stand up. We are doing everything we can to expedite the Commission’s sanction so we can proceed with the banning of these drugs. It is also important to state that although we will proceed with these issues as is, there are other issues which must be addressed in the context of other Departments. They are working together to ensure that the final decisions made can deal with the actual needs of our citizens and the concerns expressed by parents.
 
Deputy Jan O’Sullivan: Have we any indication when the EU will respond to the Government on the timing?
 
The Tánaiste: Not at this stage, but we are using diplomatic opportunities through our ambassador to the EU to ensure it is expedited.
 
Deputy Jan O’Sullivan: We urge it as soon as possible.
 
Vol. 707 No. 2  
Order of Business
Thursday, 22 April 2010

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