Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Questions 503 - Misuse of drugs [Social media sales] [25754/23].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Questions 503 - Misuse of drugs [Social media sales] [25754/23]. (30 May 2023)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2023...

503. Deputy Emer Higgins asked the Minister for Justice if there are plans to bring forward legislation to control the sale and supply of illegal drugs or substances through social media channels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25754/23] 

Simon Harris, Minister for Justice - As the Deputy will be aware, legislation in this area falls under the remit of my colleague the Minister for Health. Any matters relating to policy or legislation governing the sale of controlled substances, by any means, are for his Department. 

I can assure the Deputy however that I am acutely conscious of the devastating impact that illegal drugs, drug dealing and related criminality have on communities across the country and I have discussed these concerns with the Garda Commissioner and his senior team since my appointment as Minister.The Deputy will also be aware that the Garda Commissioner is, by law, responsible for deployment of Garda resources. The Government remains committed to ensuring An Garda Síochána has the resources it needs to keep communities safe, evidenced by the unprecedented funding of over €2 billion provided in Budget 2023. Tackling drug dealing and associated criminal activity, including by organised crime groups and by members of the public who, through their drug-taking fuel this illegal and very harmful trade, is a top priority for An Garda Síochána and the Government. 

The additional resources allocated to An Garda Síochána in recent years have enabled the Garda Commissioner to assign extra resources to the specialist units involved in tackling organised crime, including the Armed Support Unit, Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).An Garda Síochána also uses multi-disciplinary approaches to ensure the activities of individuals and groups involved in criminal enterprise are effectively targeted. Such approaches include the use of money-laundering legislation and the powers available to CAB under the proceeds of crime legislation.The Deputy may also wish to know that the Garda Commissioner has tasked an Inspector in every Garda Division to respond to the issue of drug-related intimidation. There are currently thirty nominated Garda Inspectors appointed to act as liaison officers for the Drug-Related Intimidation Reporting Programme, covering each Garda Division.

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