A new body representing head shop owners is drawing up a code of conduct for the sale of legal highs.
The code would include a ban on any sale to a customer in a school uniform. The Alternative Traders Ireland Association has been established by Cork head shop owner, Helen Stone, who owns a chain of head shops in Cork and Limerick.
Members are drawn from across the country, and also includes wholesalers and distributors of products sold in head shops. One supplier is from England and supplies Irish stores.
The association has been set up ahead of a ban on a range of products currently being sold in head shops, from June.
In a statement, the new association said: “The Association members have already agreed a Voluntary Code of Conduct, which aims to address a number of long standing concerns recently raised in the media and also of concern to the Association members. These include strict proof of age policy, a ban on any potential customer wearing school uniform (regardless of proof of age) and refusal to sell products to any person who appears to be intoxicated.”
The statement added: “Whilst the Association is taking this action to address these issues, we would stress that we are all legitimate businesses and we maintain our right to trade without prejudice.
“Alternative Traders Ireland will support its members involved in defence of legal actions, where it perceives those actions to be unjust.
“Furthermore, the Association is seeking advice in relation to the proposed ban of certain products, with emphasis on our rights under Irish and European law.”
The range of products being hit by the June ban include: ketamine, 'spice' (which is marketed as ‘potpourri’, but smoked by users), and BZP derivatives, which have a similar effect to ecstasy.
Article courtesy of the Evening Echo newspaper.
31/03/10 - 03/31/10