Ban on further range of head shop drugs due in autumn
By Cormac O’Keeffe
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
A SECOND order banning a further range of head shop drugs is due to be brought in by early autumn, the Irish Examiner understands.
This order will include up to 50 chemicals which are not yet available in head shops but could replace those that were banned on Tuesday.
The order may also include two substances which are still on sale in head shops and other chemicals which may be contained in some party pills that are still on sale.
A wide range of drugs, mainly smoking mixtures, belonging to two substances – salvia and kratom – can still be legally sold in head shops.
Salvia has hallucinogenic effects, similar to LSD (acid), while kratom is a stimulant.
Dr Des Corrigan, chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD), which recommended the range of substances banned in Tuesday’s declaration, said they were working on drafting a second order to ban other substances. "There are some others that need to be controlled and the NACD is working with the Department of Health on this," he said. He said they were working on a "generic wording" to cover all the possible chemicals involved.
The NACD was able to come up with a complicated generic wording in the ban to cover all possible synthetic cannabinoids that were or could be sold.
Dr Corrigan said six out of 170 possible chemicals had been detected in smoking products here. But he said the wording they had come up with included the other 164 chemicals that were known to exist.
The ban also included a generic wording to cover all piperazines, including derivatives of BZP, which had emerged after BZP was itself banned the previous year.
But the ban was only able to outlaw certain cathinone products, including mephedrone.
Dr Corrigan said a research project commissioned by the NACD was now working on a generic wording to include up to 13 other known cathinones.
He said this project was also examining wording to include a range of other substances, 38 in all, called pyrovalerones.
"These have not been detected, but they are known to exist. This is just to be proactive and prevent substitutes emerging, now others are controlled." Dr Corrigan said this research project was examining all substances being sold in head shops and would examine whether kratom and salvia products should also be included in the second order. "We need to look at them and assess if they pose a risk and whether there is a sufficient level of risk to be included in the Misuse of Drugs Act." He said kratom was banned in Australia and Denmark.
Dr Corrigan said he personally had concerns about both kratom and salvia.
He said they hoped to be in a position to advise the Government by the end of July and expected a second order to follow soon after.
He said some party pills still being sold may just contain caffeine, but said others may contain a mild stimulant called aminoindan, which is not controlled. He said very little was known about this substance.
Dr Corrigan said that skunk seeds sold in head shops were still legal. He said the seeds themselves did not contain drugs and were difficult to ban, even though the seeds could grow into cannabis plants under certain growing conditions. He said the hydroponic equipment used to grow these seeds would be difficult to ban as they are used for legitimate purposes, such as growing tomatoes.
from Irish Examiner online.