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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Questions on promised legislation [THC].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Questions on promised legislation [THC]. (30 May 2019)


Deputy Gino Kenny: I raise an issue in respect of proposed changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977. Currently, there is no legal exemption under that Act for any amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, a cannabis derivative. It is proposed by the Department of Health in a document which I have here that this will be amended to exempt products containing trace amounts of THC at levels not greater than 0.3%. In the past two weeks, a number of CBD shops around the country have been raided by the police. Their interpretation of the 1977 Act is contrary to what the Health Products Regulatory Authority, HPRA, and the Food Safety Authority say about THC products which are at 0.2%.


These shops are not selling anything illegal and the shop owners are not doing anything illegal. Will the Minister give a commencement date for the change in the law? This is important because there is confusion regarding CBD products.


Deputy Jim Daly: As we do not have a date for the commencement of the law, the existing law remains the law of the land. I cannot comment on enforcement of the law as that is a matter for An Garda Síochána.....


…….Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick: On the misuse of drugs, the situation with drugs is out of hand. I label drug dealers as terrorists. I have not noticed a television campaign highlighting the dangers of drug use in the same fashion as the campaigns on drink driving and sexual harassment. A similar campaign is required on the misuse of drugs. Its target audience should be those aged ten years and upwards. The agony that drug use inflicts on users should be shown explicitly. The violent torture and death suffered by those who cannot pay for drugs should be shown in all their gory detail. The effects of drug debts being passed on to families should also be clearly illustrated. It is important that we make use of television to educate citizens not only about the damage being done to drug users but also the damage to wider society.


Deputy Richard Bruton: The Minister of State, Deputy Catherine Byrne, has recognised that we need a comprehensive response to the challenge posed by drugs. She has been driving a strategy to deliver that response. As the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Flanagan, stated yesterday, this issue of organised crime, which is at the heart of the drugs business, cannot be resolved with a Garda response alone. The Deputy is correct that we need to develop other responses in the community that can support people, reduce dependence on drugs and prevent people from getting involved. I will alert the Minister of State to the concerns expressed by Deputy Fitzpatrick. She has a strategy in place to address them……

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