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Head shops: Dublin inner city TD publishes new Bill to control ‘legal highs’

26 April, 2010 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

A NEW law aimed at controlling what ‘head shops’ can sell legally and put them out of business if they’re selling dangerous substances under false pretences is being launched tomorow by a Sinn Féin TD.

Dublin south inner city TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh says that head shop owners are making huge amounts of cash out of loopholes in the law. The Sinn Féin TD’s Bill will close these loopholes by setting up a new authority with the power, expertise and the drive to quickly clamp down on dangerous substances being sold in high street shops.
The new agency would work with Customs and the Gardaí to force importers and sellers of all substances that could be ‘legal highs’ to have them licensed and have their activities closely monitored by the law or face heavy fines and/or jail terms.
Licence fees would be channelled back into the agency to help fund its operation. The agency’s costs would be tightly controlled and would cost the taxpayer a fraction of what head shop owners are pocketing, the TD said.
The new agency – the Non-Medicinal Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority – would be complementary to the Alcohol and Drug Research Unit of the Health Research Board and the National Drugs Strategy.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“Head shop owners have been running rings around the law, knowing that what they are doing is endangering people’s lives and health but they just don’t care so long as they are making a fortune out of ‘legal highs’.
“My Bill is aimed at protecting public health and putting a stop to this reckless trade; that is why I am appealing to TDs of all parties and the Government to back this new legislation to take action that is long overdue.

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