Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer - National Drugs Strategy [18219/11]

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer - National Drugs Strategy [18219/11]. (05 Jul 2011)

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547.  Deputy John Halligan asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that many of the products which were being previously sold in head shops are now widely available to anybody online and are being purchased openly; the action being taken to curtail the availability of these products; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18219/11]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Róisín Shortall): I am very aware of the threat of psychoactive substances being sold via the internet. In May 2010 the Government made an Order declaring over 200 psychoactive substances that had been on sale in ‘head shops’ to be controlled drugs for the purposes of the Misuse of Drugs Acts. Under these regulations it is an offence to manufacture, produce, import, export, sell, supply, or possess these substances.
In addition, under the Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Act 2010 which came into force in August 2010, it is a criminal offence to sell or supply substances which may not be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Acts but which have psychoactive effects on humans.
These regulations apply to the supply and purchase of products through the internet in the same way as they apply generally. The sale of psychoactive substances over the internet is a global problem that poses serious ongoing risks. The enforcement of the legal provisions applying is carried out by Revenue’s  Customs Service and An Garda Síochána, both of whom work closely together and with their international counterparts to address the problem. The Customs Service and An Garda Síochána also liaise closely with the Irish Medicines Board in this area. Furthermore, as new products come on the market, my Department will control further products under the Misuse of Drugs Acts and, indeed, arrangements to schedule additional psychoactive substances are currently being finalised.
Written Answers – National Drug Strategy
Vol. 737 No. 3
Tuesday, 5 July 2011

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