25 March 2010 Edition
Ó Snodaigh to produce bill to eliminate head shops
Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh has announced that his office is in the final stages of drafting a bill which would eliminate head shops from our communities.
Speaking after attending a protest at Leinster House on Wednesday, Ó Snodaigh said Sinn Féin activists will work to raise awareness of the dangers of the products sold in head shops and join with communities to protest against the presence of head shops in our constituencies.
“My office is in the final stages of drafting a bill which would establish a Non-Medicinal Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority. This Authority would have the responsibility and power to identify and classify non-medicinal psychoactive substances and to prohibit or otherwise restrict and license their production and sale. “I am confident this would have the effect of eliminating head shops as we know them. Our model would fast-track the process by which dangerous substances can be banned and it would also introduce a new mechanism to provisionally ban substances in the interests of public health while further research into a substance is conducted.
“By focusing on the substances themselves Sinn Féin offers the only long-term and comprehensive solution. We will offer this Bill to government as the solution and urge them to adopt it.
“In the meantime our members will work to raise awareness amongst the public, and young people in particular, of the dangers of these substances. We will work to dispel the myth that ‘it’s sold in a shop so it must be safe’. We will join with communities to protest against the presence of head shops in our constituencies.”
Sinn Féin MLA’s Sue Ramsey, Michelle O’Neill and Martina Anderson on Wednesday also submitted a motion in the Assembly calling for the banning of so-called ‘legal highs’, for debate as a matter of urgency.
Clondalkin Head Shop picketed
Dublin Mid West Sinn Féin last weekend held a protest outside Green Dayz, a ‘head shop’ in Clondalkin, after being contacted by numerous concerned residents in the area