Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
443. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of arrests and prosecutions of proprietors of premises selling psychoactive products, head shops that have been taken in the past year since the passage of the Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Act 2010. [34284/11]
444. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has been informed by An Garda Síochána authorities as to the number of raids on properties suspected of being involved in the sale and supply of substances covered under the Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Act 2010; and the amount and type of substances confiscated in those raids. [34285/11]
The Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Act 2010, which came into effect on 23 August 2010, is one element of the State’s approach to targeting the activities of ‘headshops’ and the sale of unregulated psychoactive substances.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that since the Act came into effect a series of test-purchasing operations has been conducted at such premises by personnel from the Garda National Drug Unit, with approximately 70 inspections under the provisions of section 12 of the legislation having taken place nationwide.
This has resulted in the seizure of a range of products, including cannabanoid products, cathinone substances and substances suspected to contain benzylpiperazine or its derivatives, the value of which are estimated to be worth less than €100,000.
At this time, three of the remaining outlets which continue to operate are selling products intended for human consumption. During a test purchase operation at one of these premises a product subsequently found to contain ‘Salvinorin A’, a psychoactive substance which has now been placed under the control of the Misuse of Drugs legislation, was purchased. The proprietor of the premises was arrested and interviewed resulting in the submission of an investigation file to the Law Officers and further directions in this matter are awaited.
Finally, I am advised that the Garda National Drug Unit is continually monitoring retail outlets involved in the sale of products traditionally sold by ‘headshops’ and, in partnership with it’s European counterparts, is constantly monitoring the topography of the headshop phenomenon in order to identify emerging trends and patterns in this area.
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