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Harney's Head Shop products ban welcome but not enough – Ó Snodaigh

11 May, 2010 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson for Justice Aengus Ó Snodaigh has welcomed news that Minister Harney has today banned many products sold in Head Shops ahead of the June date originally given for the ban to come into effect.

He said:

“I have always believed that it was in the power of the government to immediately ban products which are poisonous on the basis of a threat to public health and that we didn't have to await the three-month EU consultation period before taking action. While welcoming the banning of the products it doesn’t address the fact that many new products are heading this way unless we pass legislation similar to that which I proposed in my bill, the Non-Medicinal Psychoactive Substances Bill 2010, aimed at putting in place the infrastructure to effectively and promptly respond to these new substances as they are developed.

“There are new products coming on the market at a rate of two a month and we cannot wait months for the government to act in the future, as it has done on this issue to date. A new Regulatory Authority would have the power to either quickly prohibit the sale of any poisonous psychoactive substance or to otherwise restrict the sale under license with various conditions attached.

“Today's announcement must be followed up by Health Inspectors and Gardaí visiting each of the shops tomorrow to ensure none of the products now banned are on sale or stocked, and that swift prosecutions follow for those breaking the law.

"I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all campaigners who have been tirelessly and courageously tackling the issue. This is a small victory and the first significant step towards achieving a long term solution. ” ENDS

The attached video was produced as part of the campaign to promote the Sinn Féin Headshop Bill, published by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, in advance of the Governments move today.  Sinn Féin believes the Government's response does not go far enough and will leave open the possibility of headshop owners producing alternative products to the ones the Government has banned.

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