1. Kinetic
    [IMGr=white]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_4_kUnOf_Mxg/SBBkHITNyHI/AAAAAAAAABA/8xPw3mXgdTM/s320/Party-Pills.jpg[/IMGr]ACTION will be taken next month to ban a range of "legal highs" widely available for purchase over the counter in so-called head shops.

    Drugs Minister John Curran signalled the move yesterday and said a number of psychoactive substances would shortly be added to the controlled list of substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

    The junior minister with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy chaired a meeting of the British-Irish Council in the Isle of Man which focused on the controversy surrounding head shops and the availability of drugs in prisons.

    Last night, he told the Irish Independent a range of substances was expected to be added to the controlled list of drugs early next month.

    "The UK did it before Christmas; now we are going to do it," he said.

    Many of the head shops specialise in legal alternatives to illegal substances such as cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy.

    There has been heavy scrutiny of the lucrative business in recent weeks. A head shop on Dublin's Capel Street was burnt down and another was badly damaged by a fire.

    Mr Curran said Ireland would be extending the range of substances banned to include mephedrone which is contained in products labelled as "Charge" or "Snow Blow". "We intend including that on the list. That has not been done in the UK," he said. He said continued monitoring would be required because new products could emerge to take their place.

    According to the Health Research Board, mephedrone was being sold through head shops as "bath salts". It was being used as a substitute for cocaine with some addicts reportedly "injecting" the salts.

    The substances can bring on anxiety, paranoia and psychosis, according to experts. The use of mephedrone has been linked to two deaths in Sweden.

    European countries including Germany, France, Luxembourg, Austria and Poland have taken legal action to remove "spice", a synthetic cannabinoid, from the market. However, it has been replaced with a similar product, "smoke".


    Health Minister Mary Harney has promised legislation to deal with the shops by June.

    The council meeting heard other countries also had problems with "legal highs" but in many cases those products were sold over the internet rather than through head shops. Last year, the chemical BZP used to make "party pills" was made illegal.

    Fine Gael TD Dr James Reilly said a number of measures could be taken immediately to tackle the spread of head shops, such as amending the Finance Bill to require such shops to have an operating licence.

    By Louise Hogan
    Thursday February 25 2010
    Irish Independent


  1. Charles Bukowski
    Anyone know what exactly will be banned ?

    I expect everything that was recently banned in the UK plus mephedrone obviously, but what about methylone and butylone ?
  2. Synchronium
    Since the UK successfully implemented a ban on specific substances and any potentially psychoactive analogues (piperazines & cannabinoids), a similar ban will likely follow.

    It'll probably cover the entire cathinone class and/or beta ketone analogues of currently controlled substances (ie bk-MDMA;methylone)
  3. Motorhead
    Kinetic, the link to your image is broken. If you wish to use another one please upload it to the DF server first as detailed here:Posting images inline
  4. Kinetic
    Head shops face threat of lawsuits but won't be closed

    HEAD SHOPS face the prospect of being sued if people suffer adverse effects after using substances bought there -- but they will not be shut down.

    And planning laws may be tightened up to give county councils more of a say in whether the controversial shops can open.

    Drugs Minister John Curran told the Irish Independent he hoped new laws would enable head shops to be sued for selling goods advertised as items such as bath salts that are dangerous when used as a drug.

    If someone's health is affected by using a falsely advertised product, they will be able to claim damages.

    Mr Curran said closing head shops was not the answer and banning substances, as would be done in the coming weeks, would not solve all the problems -- because more legal substances would crop up.

    Plans for banning substances such as mephedrone, synthetic cannabinoids, which are sold as 'Spice', and BZPs are expected to be approved by Cabinet next week. But the ban will not come in for another three months, pending EU approval.

    Earlier this week, Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy said the force and politicians had to get a grip on the spread of head shops across the country.

    Mr Murphy described the shops -- which sell so-called legal highs -- as a threat and he said their popularity was due to the decreasing amount of hard drugs on the streets.

    Fine Gael yesterday said the delay in regulating head shops was allowing more people to experiment with the dangerous substances.

    "This is much like the two-year delay in outlawing the use of magic mushrooms, which allowed an extremely dangerous substance to be used by a further 180,000 Irish people," Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins said.

    "There is a real lack of awareness of just how unregulated and dangerous these readily available substances are."

    But Mr Curran said he was planning legislation and wanted the Government to be one step ahead of other countries to prevent Ireland becoming a dumping ground for the drugs.

    "In the Isle of Man, they have no head shops but they still have these psychoactive substances available and they are purchased through internet sales," he said.

    "While I can't technically ban head shops, there are other things we're looking at doing.

    "With respect of (the Department of) Enterprise, Trade and Employment, I specifically asked them to have a look at our consumer protection legislation. People are going into shops and buying bath salts and plant foods and everybody knows that's not what they are at all.


    "If someone could have adverse effects; they could sue the shop," he added.

    "I've asked the Department of Environment to have a look at our planning legislation. At the moment, a head shop can open in any retail premises," he said.

    "Under planning law there is no difference between a newsagents and a shop selling psychoactive substances or legal highs."

    A requirement for specific permission, as is the case with off-licences, would give local authorities a say in the opening of head shops.

    It would also allow them to impose opening-hour restrictions on head shops.

    By Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent
    Saturday February 27 2010
  5. John Doe
    I wonder how he kept a straight face as he said that??
  6. babylou
    is it very bad to smoke couple of these when house and kids r all sorted or is it wrong d cat loves it but i dont know what to advise her
  7. Smeg
    Swim feels that, perhaps, politicians can be so opportunely and insincerely sanctimonious that they'd try to ban rain if it was popular to demonise and lynch it.
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