Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for National Drugs Strategy, Jack Chambers TD has said that Government must move quickly to adopt new EU legislation banning emerging psychoactive drugs, into Irish law.
In updated legislation passed in the European Parliament this week, new psychoactive substances entering the illicit drug market will be banned more quickly from EU countries while producing and selling them will be punished with similar penalties to other illicit drugs.
In order to keep up with the fast-paced developments on the market, amendments have been introduced to significantly shorten the procedure to determine the potential effects of new psychoactive substances and if required, to adopt control measures in the EU.
Deputy Chambers commented, “The recreational use of psychoactive substances has exploded in popularity, especially among young people who often inaccurately think they are less harmful or noxious than harder drugs such as cocaine or heroin.
“The synthetic drugs that are emerging are designed to mimic established illicit drugs and are laced with dangerous chemicals that have replaced those already prohibited under current legislation.
“As more and more synthetic drugs become readily available, legislators and decision makers need to be equipped to respond and safeguard the public from these toxic chemicals.
“Under the EU legislation updated this week, those that manufacture, distribute or sell these new substances are subject to criminal law and could face maximum penalties of between five and ten years imprisonment, as is the case for other illicit drugs.
He concluded, “It is my understanding that Ireland has 6 months to adopt this EU decision rather the previous 12 months. It’s imperative that we make moves here in Ireland to urgently introduce these changes.”