Young Fine Gael (YFG) took their campaign to enforce a ban on mephedrone and strict future regulation of ‘head-shops’ in Ireland to Europe last weekend.
YFG successfully put forward a resolution on the issue at the recent Youth of the European People's Party (YEPP) Chairmen’s Conference in Paris, which was hosted by the UMP party of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
YFG's International Secretary Mr. Colm Lauder proposed the YFG policy calling for the European Union to enforce a ban on the sale and consumption mephedrone and strict regulation of ‘head-shops’, addressing concerns that other substances similar to mephedrone are likely to reach the market in the future. The delegates present, representing centre-right political parties in almost every country on the European continent, passed the proposal unanimously.
In proposing the policy Mr. Lauder said: “the proliferation of head-shops in Irish cities and towns is a matter of great concern. The fact that substances replicating hard drugs which are untested and unregulated are freely available is a great fear, particularly to parents. These drugs can be sold over the counter to anyone from school children to intoxicated adults, and still be fully within the law."
YFG proposed that a strict system of regulation for ‘head-shops’ needs to be developed to prevent the open sale of new substances that come onto the market, mirroring a licencing system similar to that for ‘off-licences’.
Following the unanimous vote in favour of the proposal, YFG President Barry Walsh, who present at the YEPP Chairmen's Conference, said: "we are heartened by the unanimous support which we have received for our proposal, and by the commitment by the member organisations of YEPP to raise this important issue with their national parties. EPP member organisations are currently in Government in 20 of the 27 member states, and their support will be vital to progressing this issue at an EU level.
Caption for Photo: Left to right: Laurent Schouteten (President of YEPP), Barry Walsh (Former-President of YFG), Colm Lauder (International Secretary) and Michael Clancy (Deputy International Secretary)