Sale of 'drug pipes' to be banned
The Government's new legislation designed to target head shops makes it a criminal offence to sell pipes or any other objects used to take controlled or psychoactive drugs.
The Psychotropic Substances Bill also makes it illegal to sell objects used to cultivate drugs by hydroponic means and allows for penalties of up to five years in prison and fines of €5,000 upon conviction.
The main points of new legislation published today make it an offence to sell, supply or advertise hallucinogenic drugs previously sold in head shops.
Doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, vets and other professions or businesses as deemed by the Minister for Justice will be exempt from its provisions.
Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said the Bill is designed to deal with those selling psychotropic substances.
The new Bill also gives gardaí new powers to get court orders to prohibit named individuals from selling, displaying, or advertising psychoactive drugs and to close head shops for up to a year.
They can also search suspected head shops, seize and destroy psychoactive material and seek to have the costs borne by the owner.
The Minister said: '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.
'However, I am conscious that further action is necessary to deal with the emergence of potentially dangerous new substances not covered by the ban.
'Accordingly, I am proposing the Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Bill to ensure that the criminal law and the gardaí can deal quickly and effectively with those who sell psychoactive substances for human consumption.
'The Bill is being drafted as a matter of priority and I look forward to publication and enactment of the Bill as soon as possible.'
Thursday, 3 June 2010 17:46