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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer – 651 Legislative process [7646/17].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer – 651 Legislative process [7646/17]. (07 Mar 2017)


651. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health if he will treat with urgency the outstanding issues preventing the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Act, relating to tablets, from being implemented and thus enforced by gardaí. [7646/17]

 

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Act 2016 was passed by the Oireachtas on the 27th July 2016. Controlling the substances in the Act was part one of a two-step process and Regulations and various Orders are also required to allow legitimate users (e.g. patients with a prescription, health professionals) to possess the substances.

 

Drafting of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations and Orders is complex and technical in nature and involved consultation with a number of State Agencies. However, since Autumn 2016 significant resources in the Medicines, Controlled Drugs and Pharmacy Unit within the Department have had to be allocated to drafting of the Misuse of Drugs (Supervised Injecting Facilities) Bill and also dealing with various issues in relation to the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

 

It was also necessary to notify to the European Commission under the Technical Standards Directive. Under this Directive Member States are required to inform the Commission of any new regulations or standards which may create a barrier to the free movement of goods. Since these draft Regulations have the potential to affect trade, in particular because of the introduction of a requirement for import licences, they must be notified to the EU whilst they are in draft form and before they are adopted in national law. This process has now been completed.

 

It is therefore expected that various sections of the 2016 Act will be commenced in the coming weeks when the drafting of the various Regulations and Orders is complete.

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