Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Anderson calls for resolute action on head shops

24 March, 2010 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin Policing Board Member, Martina Anderson has called for resolute government government action on so-called 'Head Shops' who are peddling dangerous substances.

Martina Anderson said:

"We have been warning about these substances for a number of years now. Sinn Féin has compiled a comprehensive set of proposals which if adopted by government would effectively bring about conditions in which head shops as we know them could no longer exist.

Ms Anderson said:

“Communities across the Country and parents in particular are very concerned by the rate at which head shops are opening and the absolute lack of regulation governing the substances which they sell. A number of deaths and many more hospitalizations have been associated with the recent proliferation of these 'legal highs'.

“A number of proposals put forward so far in my opinion are inadequate and by their own admission are only interim measures. I am proposing comprehensive measures to address the problems surrounding non-medicinal psychoactive substances or ‘legal highs’ as they are called, once and for all. This issue of Head Shops was debated extensively at my party’s Ard Fheis at the start of the month. Sinn Féin has submitted a motion on the issue to be debated in the Assembly as a matter of urgency.

“I am proposing a stringent substance control model as a consequence of which head shops as we know them, could no longer exist. My proposal involves the establishment of an independent authority who would be tasked with regulating the import, production and sale of all psychoactive substances other than those that are currently covered by existing legislation. The authority would work with the existing drugs bodies and Dept. of Health to introduce and enforce a licensing system under which substances can be quickly identified and then restricted or prohibited as appropriate.” ENDS

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