Fine Gael Community, Equality & Gaeltacht Affairs Spokesperson Frank Feighan TD, left, this week called on the Government to act swiftly to close the loophole which is allowing the continued sale of equipment for the cultivation of cannabis plants.
“Once again head shops, or ‘grow shops’, have found a way to circumvent the law. The Government must be vigilant and swift to action as these shops are endlessly resourceful in exploiting loopholes. I was among the first to warn of the growth of head shops in 2008 but the Government was extremely slow to respond. This cannot happen again.
“Cannabis is an illegal drug in this country and it should not be possible to cultivate it at home. If a legislative amendment to remove the technical term ‘hydroponic’ from existing law is required to help the Gardaí end the sale of ‘grow kits’, then the Government should bring this forward without delay along with any other necessary measures. A ban on seeds may be problematic, but that does not mean we should throw up our hands at tackling this latest head shop issue.
“It became clear when the Government finally acted on the sale of psychoactive products in head shops that obstacles to action can be overcome when the will is there. The Government should demonstrate the will in this case to prevent purveyors of cannabis seeds and paraphernalia from running rings around the law.
“There is clearly a will among the public, as was shown in Roscommon where a sustained campaign by local people against head shops ensured that the law was changed to bring about the closure of these shops in Roscommon and elsewhere.”