‘Head’ stores selling drug alternatives face closure

By Terrapinzflyer · Nov 30, 2009 · ·
  1. Terrapinzflyer
    ‘Head’ stores selling drug alternatives face closure

    ‘HEAD’ stores selling legal alternatives to mind-altering drugs could be closed down next year under laws being considered by the Government.

    A number of TDs have expressed concern about the effects in their local communities of the explosion of head shops selling herbal products and chemical-based party and energy pills.

    Junior Minister with responsibility for drugs strategy John Curran has sought the advice of the Attorney General on whether legislation could be introduced to ban these stores.

    He has "identified head shops as an area of concern" according to an official at the Department of Health, and expressed his personal beliefs that they should be closed down.

    Meanwhile, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said the Forensic Science Laboratory is analysing products seized during searches earlier this year in 25 head shops around the country.

    "Pending the outcome of same, investigation files will be submitted to the Law Officers in course for directions as to what charges, if any, should be preferred," said Mr Ahern in a written response to a Dáil question.

    "A number of these types of premises have already been subject of a Garda investigation for suspected breaches of the law, resulting in the submission of investigation files to the Law Officers," he said.

    The minister was responding to questions from Kildare South Fianna Fáil TD Seán O Fearghaíl, who expressed concern about the "growing phenomenon" and said "these outlets should be barred in the interest of public health".

    In October 2006, the Irish Examiner revealed that drugs up to five times the strength of ecstasy were being sold over the counter in at least 15 head shops around Ireland, despite being classified as a class A drug in the US since 2001.
    These party pills werefinally banned in April when their main ingredient, BZP, was listed as a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

    This made it a criminal offence to buy, sell or possess the drug, often called "pep pills", which often come under the name Jax or Smileys.

    Fine Gael has said the planning permission criteria for sex shops should also be applied to head shops.

    By Mary Regan, Political Reporter
    MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2009


    Share This Article


  1. Alfa
    I wonder what legislation the Irish government will produce. Its probably very restrictive.Honestly, I can't blame them with all the chemical alternatives for meth, cocaine and heroin that the Irish wholesalers release. Its way out of control.
  2. Nature Boy

    I don't even think the government are aware of that. Most headshops don't sell those precursors. They're just peddling party pills and this is another classic case of "tut-tut!" nanny state rule. It will be interesting to see what rules they actually bring in.

    Though this would limit the amount of headshops, perhaps it might pave the way for larger headshops that are left alone in terms of what they can sell. Although sex shops are frowned upon by the country's older and more conservative electorate, most people disregard them as harmless fun for the seedier types amongst us. Maybe headshops could be accepted in the same way.

    This will be a nightmare when it comes to writing up legislation. You can't just ban headshops. You have to ban every psychoactive substance one-by-one because I know of stores that sell legal highs rather discreetly with most people thinking they're fashion or party shops.
  3. Alfa
    I was referring to chemical snuff products like ivory wave, mephedrone charge, snow blog, various cocaine analogs, etc.

    The government must be aware due to the media attention, incidents and the EU warnings about legal highs in their yearly drug report. I do think that is where this legislation may have sprung from.
  4. tuzgurel
    It's something happening in my country, head shops all over, in my city at one time there were 60 shops for a population of under 700.000 ppl, i'm 22 yo and the kids that are now in the 10th or 11 th grade are at the start of their drug using life, and because it's affordable, and accesible there are no limits to what is allowed, and the government isn't doing anything.
    To many interests to much money.
    And the effects are starting to show, young ppl are seeking council for theri drug abuse problems. Nasty.
  5. Nature Boy
    By 10th or 11th grade, do you mean 9-10 year old kids? That's disgraceful and the vendors should be ashamed of themselves for selling drugs to children that young. The ideal arrangement would be to assess the risks of all drugs logically and require by law that they only be sold to people 18 and over. A lot of countries have had great success limiting underagers' access to cigarettes and alcohol. I don't see why they can't have the same success with all other drugs. Regulate it, take it away from the black market and use the tax revenue to improve services. Though totally unregulated headshops encourage free market dishonesty, this doesn't mean that headshops are immoral or anything. They're just profiting off a faulty system. If a strict ID policy was incorporated, I don't see why headshops should be a problem at all. Adults are responsible for their own actions and their own drug intake. Provided everything was labelled like a food or medical product, you've no-one else to blame. Stupidity shouldn't be illegal.
  6. Terrapinzflyer
    Thats a very good question. In the US that would mean 15-17yo kids, but this being an international forum sometimes our cultural references are different...
  7. akack2

    LMAO Fine Gael scumbags dont even know what they re talking about lol,there is no planning permission for sex shops-Eejits
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!