Tuesday, 11th May 2010
Speaking following the announcement by the Health Minister of an immediate ban on head shop products, Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson on Community, Senator Jerry Buttimer said:
‘This move is a welcome one, coming not before its time. Decisive action by Government was the most important step needed in this instance, as is evidenced by the flight of head shop owners this afternoon’.
“This issue, however is by no means a closed case as, to date, owners have proved extremely resourceful in staying one step ahead of the law and little in this regard is set to change. The reality is that those shops that remain open will undoubtedly continue to source and supply legal highs that have not yet been subject to a ban.
“We now need to focus on our planning laws, and working closely with planning authorities, to put measures in place that will hinder the proliferation of shops in the future.
“If our Government had taken the lead of so many other European countries by taking decisive action to ban these substances sooner, many of the horror stories we have heard over the past couple of months could have been avoided.
“Furthermore, we must ensure that legislation is enacted so that no substance for human consumption is sold across any counter unless it has been first been approved by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland or the Irish Medicine Board. Today’s move is to be welcomed. I only hope that the Government will now go the whole way and delay resolutely with the issue.”