A town councillor in Killarney, Co Kerry, claimed the “scourge of the head shops had been dampened” by the Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Act 2010.
However, Fianna Fáil’s Tom Doherty insisted more drugs had been invented to replace banned products.
“These new harmful substances are still legally available over the counter,” he claimed.
At a Killarney Town Council meeting, he called for a ban on all head shops to be included in the 2015-2021 town development plan.
“There is no legal definition of a head shop so this ban would be easily circumvented by giving the unit a different title. It could, for instance, be a clothes shop that also sells legal highs,” he said.
He proposed the council would urge Phil Hogan, the environment minister, to change the planning act to give a clear definition of a head shop.
“When the term head shop is defined in the legislation, it will give Killarney Town Council a stronger footing to ban all head shops in all parts of the town, no matter what the zoning is,” he said.