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Children 'eating gummy bears and chocolate laced with cannabis' - TD

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Fine Gael TD Emer Higgins

Fine Gael TD Emer Higgins

Fine Gael TD Emer Higgins

A Dublin TD has claimed that children in her constituency are eating gummy bears and chocolate laced with cannabis.

Dublin Mid-West Fine Gael deputy Emer Higgins said parents in her constituency have been contacting her about the "dangerous new trend".

This issue was also identified to her by the Clondalkin Drugs Task Force which has spotted packaging in local parks in recent weeks.

Speaking during a Dáil debate on the national drugs strategy, Ms Higgins said that young people were "attracted to gummy bears and chocolate laced with cannabis" as it avoided the "foul taste of tobacco".

"This is problematic for a number of reasons. First of all, the sugary taste of sweets and chocolate is clearly more attractive to children who may never experiment with cannabis," she explained.

"Secondly it takes far longer for people to feel the impact when eating cannabis.

"While the impact of smoking is immediate, the impact of eating cannabis is not felt for up to an hour.

"Teenagers eat a square of cannabis-laced chocolate, feel no impact and then eat the rest of the bar. As a result, they accidentally over-consume dangerous amounts of the drug. By the time the effects are felt, the teenager is in over their head."

Effects

She claimed there was no antidote to consuming cannabis and that its effects were longer -lasting than smoking the drug and more damaging to health.

"If the cannabis triggers psychosis or hallucinations, this will be hell for the teenager," she said. "This is why edible cannabis puts a disproportionate number of people in hospitals."

She asked the Minister of State for Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan, to raise awareness of the dangers of edible cannabis among young people.

Meanwhile, Micheál Martin has been told to stop doing press conferences with Leo Varadkar because the Fine Gael leader is "running rings around him".

During a robust Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting, the Taoiseach came under fire for his failure to include his TDs and senators in government decision-making.

Sligo-Leitrim TD Marc MacSharry said the relationship between the Taoiseach and his elected members was one of a "teacher and pupil".

Mr MacSharry also said the Taoiseach should stop doing joint press conferences with Mr Varadkar. "He's running rings around you," he said.

He added that the regular briefings on Covid-19 figures should end because they are "scaring the bejaysus" out of the public.