Monday, May 28 14:08:57
Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID) today called on the Minister for Health to move swiftly to enact new legislation to make it an offence to possess certain prescription drugs without a prescription.
The BID said that the issue of problematic prescription drug use and behaviour is a torment to businesses in certain areas of the city, notably in the area bounded by O' Connell Street, Cathal Brugha Street, the Northern Quays and Talbot Street, with drug users openly dealing in prescription medicines such as zopiclone, diazepam, zimovaine and valium.
According to the BID, members of the public are often concerned by the sale of prescription drugs, thinking them to be illegal drugs. A survey conducted by Dublin City Council found that 36pc of respondents noted anti-social behaviour and particularly drug related activities as the worst thing about Dublin.
In April, Dublin City BID drafted legislation to update the law dealing with the sale of these products and sent it to the Minister for Health and the Minister for Justice. The proposed regulations would permit members of An Garda Siochana to exercise the same powers as Authorised Offices appointed under Regulation 21 of the Principle Regulations. The Regulations also confer powers of arrest on members of An Garda Siochana.
Commenting, Richard Guiney CEO of Dublin City BID said: "We are calling on the Minister to waste no time in moving to enact these changes. We believe that this amendment would have a significant benefit for the public by addressing a loop hole that allows for open drug dealing on our capital's main streets. This in turn would greatly improve the trading environment of some the city centre businesses who have been tormented by this problem for far too long."
"It would also assist in protecting vulnerable members of our society who are purchasing powerful and dangerous medicines, which may well be counterfeit, on the streets. These drugs are taken without prescription or the supervision of trained medical personnel. As the area is regularly visited by tourists, Ireland's international reputation is being damaged. Due to the loophole in the legislation the Gardai are rendered powerless to stop this."
"We have pursued this issue vigorously on behalf of the businesses in the city centre and are keen to see it come into law so that the Gardai can begin to enforce it immediately."