THOUSANDS OF head shop products have been taken to the Garda’s drug analysis laboratory for testing to determine whether some shops were selling illegal drugs before “legal highs” were banned this week.
The products were taken by teams of gardaí who called to more than 100 head shops nationwide to warn owners against the continued sale of the popular products that were all banned from midnight on Monday.
They were yesterday taken to Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin, for testing at the State Forensic Laboratory.
A Garda source said products such as mephedrone and synthetic cannabinoids were only banned on Monday night, so shop owners would not face prosecution in relation to them. “But if we find anything during the tests that was banned all along, we will prosecute people,” he said.
The products now in Garda possession were surrendered by head shop owners on Tuesday when gardaí called to them to explain that some products were now banned and should be handed over to the Garda.
Samples from most shops will now be tested for evidence of illegal drugs. Similar tests carried out on products taken from head shops in recent months found no sign of banned ingredients. The haul now due for testing is much bigger.
The Alternative Traders Ireland Association, which claims to represent 35 head shop owners, was established by Cork head shop owner Helen Stone. She said the Government’s “underhand” ban on legal highs had come without warning and would cost jobs.
She added while many head shops had temporarily closed, most sold substances that were still legal. “Our shops will continue to trade despite the ban, albeit with reduced staff.”
Head shops across the country closed their doors or withdrew formerly legal highs from their shelves following the surprise ban on many of the products. Drugs banned include synthetic cannabinoids, benzylpiperazine, mephedrone, piperazine derivatives, flephedrone and MDPV.
May 13, 2010
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
Head shop tests for previously illicit drugs