Ireland 'will have most robust laws anywhere' on products
NEW laws are being prepared to stop head shops re-inventing themselves as "medicines shops", according to the minister in charge of the Government's drugs strategy.
Pat Carey also said that he fully expects a legal challenge to hit the courts in a bid to weaken new laws banning a range of substances.
But he said Irish legislation will be the most robust of any country and will close loopholes to stamp out so-called "legal highs".
Revenue confirmed that customs officers will be using sniffer dogs and x-rays to catch banned head-shop drugs being shipped into the country. They will also use risk profiling.
Mr Carey said that he expected some store owners to try to "re-invent themselves".
He said many head shops had temporarily closed as owners checked their stock to see what they could now sell.
"I presume some of them may decide to re-invent themselves as alternative medicine shops and go down the health route," he added.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Carey said: "Ireland will probably have the most robust body of legislation anywhere. We are trying to have as water-tight and as robust legislation as possible."
It is also expected that many local authorities, when drawing up new development plans, will include provisions whereby planners will have to approve any change of use of premises to a head shop.