Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 250 - Drugs dealing [27325/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 250 - Drugs dealing [27325/15]. (07 Jul 2015)

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250. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the availability of herbal cannabis illegally; the actions that will be taken to address this issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27325/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The law enforcement response to drug trafficking remains an important feature of our overall approach to tackling the supply of illicit drugs under the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016.


The continued disruption of the supply of all illicit drugs, including herbal cannabis, remains a priority under the Strategy for all agencies tasked with responsibilities in this regard.


An Garda Síochána, through the work of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and the dedicated Drug Units operating across the jurisdiction, continue to target those involved in the illicit sale and supply of drugs. The specific strategies put in place by An Garda Síochána include the operation of targeted intelligence led initiatives such as Operation Nitrogen which targets cannabis cultivation.


I am advised that Garda seizures of herbal cannabis in 2014 are provisionally valued at €24.5m.


Such seizures play a critical role in disrupting crime gangs and in helping to protect communities from the destructive impact of drugs misuse and associated criminality.


Of course, further seizures of herbal cannabis at importation would also be made by the Revenue Customs Service with whom An Garda Síochána maintain ongoing liaison.

At international level An Garda Síochána has strong strategic partnerships in place aimed at targeting drug trafficking including those established through the work of Europol and the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre, Narcotics (MAOC(N)) in Lisbon.


More broadly, the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016 seeks to address the harm caused to individuals and society by drug misuse by tackling the problem in a comprehensive and integrated way by implementing a pillar based approach which incorporates a wide range of drug supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research measures.

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