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  1. John Doe
    Law will put head shops out of business - Ahern

    HEAD SHOPS will be put out of business for good as a result of a proposed law announced yesterday, Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern has claimed.

    The sale or supply of substances with psychoactive effects for human consumption will become a criminal offence under the Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Bill.

    Minister for Health Mary Harney last month made some 200 so-called “legal highs” controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977. These included mephedrone, synthetic cannabinoids and BZP derivatives.

    Substances have been produced subsequently, however, and Mr Ahern’s proposed legislation aims to clamp down on the latest products as they come on to the market.

    “Obviously I’d like to see the closure of all the head shops. There has been a substantial closure of head shops around the country, there are still a number trading and the gardaí are keeping a very close eye on what they’re trading.

    “This will be a belt-and-braces approach. Not only will we ban individual products through the legislation that the Minister for Health has, but also [there is] this catch-all piece of legislation.”

    Asked if the proposed legislation would put head shops out of business for good, Mr Ahern said he thought it would.

    Gardaí will be able to apply to the District Court for an order prohibiting a person from selling or advertising a psychoactive substance, having previously requested the cessation of such activities.

    A person who fails to comply with a court order will be guilty of an offence and the court can make a closure order in respect of the premises concerned.

    As the procedure will be civil rather than criminal, the proof required will be on the balance of probabilities rather than beyond reasonable doubt.

    The definition of selling psychoactive substances under the proposed law will be broad, including distributing, offering for sale and being in possession for sale. Importing or exporting for sale will be covered and it will also be an offence to advertise a psychoactive substance.

    To ensure head shop operators cannot get around the provisions of the Bill by claiming their products are not for human consumption, the court will be able to take into account all the circumstances of the case in deciding whether or not the person being prosecuted knew the substance was being sold for human consumption. This will take into account qualities and cost of products.

    It will also be an offence to sell, import or export psychoactive substances for human consumption, including electronic communication and by means of the internet.

    Full powers will be provided to the Garda and Revenue in relation to the sale, import and export of the psychoactive substances, whether by means of the internet or otherwise.

    The Bill will also deal with the sale of drug paraphernalia and so- called “grow your own” equipment in head shops. Mr Ahern is considering including an offence of selling a pipe or any other object made or adapted for use in connection with the consumption of the controlled drug or psychoactive substance.

    Mr Ahern said the Bill was being drafted as a matter of priority and he looked forward to its publication as soon as possible, saying he hoped it would be enacted before the summer recess.

    Gardaí have advised Mr Ahern that of the 102 head shops that were open before May 11th, about 36 continue to trade and are being monitored.

    “I am pleased that the recent ban on the sale of substances such as mephedrone has had a very significant effect on the operations of head shops,” the Minister added.

    “However, I am conscious that further action is necessary to deal with the emergence of potentially dangerous new substances not covered by the ban.”

    Friday, June 4, 2010


  1. John Doe
    The sneaky little animals - I had been pondering how they would get around the constitutional right of a requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt and here it is in black and white - they don't need to get around it in the civil court. Surely this also means the penalties will be lowered?
  2. donville67
    What if SWIM imported a psychoactive substance over the internet for personnal use i.e. 1g of a non controlled RC. Whould this be covered by the legilation. SWIM heard on another site that it would not be since its not been purchased to be sold and If it's not a controlled substance (Bearing in mind it is psychoactive and not for human consumption) it would not be covered under the missuse of drugs act or this new proposed legislation.
  3. ianzombie
    Well thats going to be interesting, Swim will be interested to see just how many Pubs/Clubs and Off-Licence shops will be forced to remove alcohol from their product list.
    How many garden centres and supermarkets will be breaking the law when this ridiculous law comes into effect.
    Will there be raids on coffee shops across the country, will tea drinkers be locked up en-mass?

    This is getting very silly now.
    Something needs to be done.

    Tea Cups, Spoons, Ashtrays, Wine glasses.
  4. John Doe
    Ian, if you read the bill you'll see the Exceptions clause has alcohol and tobacco clearly defined :(

    I'm with you on this one, it's now or never and I don't like the sound of the latter!
  5. donville67
    All this legislation has to do with the sale of psychoactive substances and drug paraphernalia but can they be ordered from another country for personal use?
  6. John Doe
    The actual wording of the bill covers that if you care to read it it's attached in a quote at the end of the article.
  7. Goku4ever
    Whoa this is spiralling out of control. When the Government have banned everything drug related and see that the "problem" is still out of their control, will they then realise what needs to be done?
  8. anotheruser1
    fuck the government, they are not swim's parents and are not going to tell me every move i can or cannot make. this is bullshit.
  9. Lish_Bomb
    Is this just in Ireland, or the UK too? It's so backwards its unbelievable.. The fact of the matter is, is that prohibition of any of these drugs actually diminishes ANY control that the state may have had, and freely hands it over to the hands of dealers.. it's madness.
  10. John Doe
    As much as people like to think Ireland is part of the UK fortunately it hasn't been for the best part of 100 years. We do tend to inherit a lot of policies that the British employ but this is one our government dreamt up all by themselves >.<
  11. Terrapinzflyer
    Law to let gardaí ban head-shop products

    LEGISLATION ALLOWING gardaí to prohibit the sale of head-shop products without having immediate recourse to the criminal courts is expected to be passed before the summer Dáil recess.

    The new law will allow gardaí to serve a prohibition notice on the sale of the substances. The issue will only come to court if the order is not complied with. Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern yesterday published the Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Bill, aimed at curtailing the activities of head shops and the sale of substances not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

    The existing measures in the Misuse of Drugs Act, which includes the recent addition of some head-shop products on the list of controlled drugs, will continue in parallel with the new law.

    The Bill is intended to deal with the situation where the chemical composition of products sold in head shops is altered slightly to bring them outside the scope of the existing prohibitions under the Misuse of Drugs Act, while retaining their psychoactive properties.

    The Bill makes it an offence to sell, import or export psychoactive substances for human consumption. The offence includes knowing, or being reckless as to whether the drug was for human consumption, even if the packaging says otherwise. It includes sale over the internet or home delivery within the jurisdiction, and also includes the advertising of a psychoactive substance.

    It also makes specific provision for criminalising the growing of cannabis indoors.

    The Bill provides that a garda of the rank of superintendent or higher may serve a prohibition notice on a person where he or she believes the person is selling, importing or cultivating the substances, directing the person to cease forthwith.

    Failure to comply with the prohibition notice will trigger an application from the gardaí to the District Court for an order prohibiting the activity. These will be civil proceedings, so the burden of proof on the Garda will be on the balance of probabilities rather than beyond reasonable doubt, which would be the case if this were a criminal case.

    If the person fails to comply with this order, he or she will commit a criminal offence, and in addition the court may make a closure order on the premises concerned. Failure to comply with the court orders will carry penalties of €5,000 or 12 months’ imprisonment on summary conviction in the District Court, or a fine and/or five years’ imprisonment on indictment in the Circuit Court.

    The Bill also grants powers to gardaí and Customs officials to go into premises and seize products suspected of falling within the definition in the Bill.

    Mr Ahern said the new law was drawn up after consultation with the Attorney General. It followed existing precedents in Irish law in relation to prohibition and closure orders, which exist in the food safety and public health areas.

    He said the Bill would be introduced in the Seanad next week, and he hoped it would be through the Seanad by the end of the week.

    It would then be brought forward in the Dáil, and the Opposition indicated they supported its rapid passage through the Oireachtas, so he hoped it would be passed by the end of this Dáil session.

    Mr Ahern said he notified the European Commission of the Bill on June 4th. While normally the commission took about six months to express its view, in this case it had accepted the urgency of the draft Bill, while reserving its position on its contents. The commission pointed out that new legislation on psychoactive substances was being prepared at EU level.

    Fine Gael spokeswoman on the national drugs strategy, Catherine Byrne, welcomed the new legislation. “I sincerely hope that this Bill will close off any remaining loopholes, and that the gardaí will have the necessary resources to police this new law,” she said.

    CAROL COULTER, Legal Affairs Editor
    The Irish Times -
    Saturday, June 19, 2010

  12. John Doe
    No bail for headshop-accused in govt proposals

    The Government's crackdown on headshops is to include a provision to allow bail be refused to suspects.

    New laws - banning all psychoactive substances - is being rushed through the Oireachtas.

    They're going through the Seanad this afternoon, where the Justice Minister says he'll categorise the offences as "serious" to allow for the refusal of bail.

    23/06/2010 - 12:11:48
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