Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Where’s your head shop at? Probably closed for now

There are times when the Irish government moves fast. While our elected reps may take their time when it comes to dealing with, oh let’s see, criminal bankers, delinquent developers, drug dealing on Dublin’s Talbot Street and large potholes, it’s …

Tue, May 11, 2010, 14:28

   

There are times when the Irish government moves fast. While our elected reps may take their time when it comes to dealing with, oh let’s see, criminal bankers, delinquent developers, drug dealing on Dublin’s Talbot Street and large potholes, it’s a different matter when it comes to synthetic cannabinoids, benzylpiperazine and piperazine derivatives, mephedrone, methylone methedrone, butylone, flephedrone, and MDPV GBL and 1,4 BD.

Thanks to a government order, the sale, importation, exportation, production, supply and possession of these substances is now an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977. It would be interesting to know what legislation has been put on hold so this order can be rushed through.

This probably means an end (for now) to one of the weirdest chapters in recent Irish life as head shops slowly became part and parcel of the urban landscape. Usually located between your local Spar and chipper, the head shops became ubiquitous around the country because of the huge demand for products which said one thing on the label and did something else completely when ingested. There was obviously serious money to be made from this sort of thing – 24 hour shops are not open for any other reason – so the supply was upped to meet the demand.

Leaving aside the fact that the righteous fuming over these products is never applied in the same way to the products sold in the local pub which are just as lethal and dangerous when misused and abused (in fact, many pub owners could be heard giving out yards about how these shops were taking away custom), head shops were another classic Irish solution to another Irish problem. They allowed Irish people to get out of their heads while believing that they weren’t dealing with nasty drug dealers.

To many, it was just a laugh and giggle. Sure, it’s just bath salts or fish food, they’d say, chomping down on God knows what. It was a different matter for the poor sods who went along with the giggle and ended their night carted away in an ambulance. That was not the trip they had in mind when they handed over a few tenners for a powder they didn’t have a breeze about in the first place. No amount of legislation is going to make people cop on about that sort of thing.

No doubt another set of dodgy legal highs will replace that list above. No doubt, another piece of legislation will be rushed through to deal with the new menace by concerned politicians, only too happy to spend time on a populist issue like this rather than tackling the real issues of the day. And, no doubt, we’ll have another day out fuming about head shops in the future. You can bring the plant food….