Local TD Denis Naughten has welcomed the Government’s announcement that it is to ban many of the toxic chemicals currently on sale in head shops, but has questioned why the ban will only come into force in June.
Deputy Naughten, who raised the issue with the Taoiseach on Wednesday this week, said: “Other European countries, including the UK, have already banned many of these life-threatening drugs so I cannot understand why the Government cannot ban them in Ireland while it awaits formal EU approval.
“My fear is that these chemicals will be moved from other EU countries and dumped on the Irish market, which will push down the price with potentially fatal consequences.”
Deputy Naughten also requested that the Taoiseach raise the issue of planning permission for head shops with the Minister for the Environment.
“A change in the law requiring planning permission for head shops could be introduced with the signature of Minister John Gormley and would not require any EU approval,” he said.
“The reality is that this Government has been slow to act against head shops, which currently operate as legitimate businesses, and until proper legislation is implemented they will be still able to sell ‘legal highs’ containing a variety of unknown toxic ingredients, many of which pose very serious health risks.”