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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 177 - Proposed legislation [Misuse of Drugs Bill] [26484/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 177 - Proposed legislation [Misuse of Drugs Bill] [26484/15]. (01 Jul 2015)

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177. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health when a new misuse of drugs Bill will be enacted; the measures that will be included in this legislation to combat the illicit drug trade and facilitate addiction treatment services; if he is satisfied with the time being taken to introduce this legislation; if he is in a position to fast-track this legislation to ensure it is enacted by the end of 2015, in view of the urgency needed to combat drug-related criminality; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26484/15]


Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin): I intend to bring forward a Bill by the end of the year to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act so as to allow the Government to declare substances to be controlled, thereby meeting our EU and international obligations to control substances that are dangerous and have the potential for abuse. Furthermore, the Bill will clarify the provisions under which Ministerial orders and regulations are made. This will once again allow regulations to be made and, if necessary and appropriate, allow the introduction of stricter or less strict controls on substances which are already covered under the legislation.


As Minister with responsibility for the national drugs strategy, I will also be leading the development of a new strategy for the period after 2016. My intention over the coming months is to lay the groundwork for a concise and focused policy, placing a clear emphasis on the practical implementation of actions. The preparatory work will include an assessment of the extent to which the current strategy has provided an effective policy response to the drug problem. An examination of the approach to drugs policy and practice in other jurisdictions will also help to identify any additional evidence-based approaches that might be considered in an Irish context.

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