Government Asks For Public Submissions On Drug Policy

The last few months have been quite interesting in terms of drug policy in Ireland.

Since the arrival of the new Minister for Drugs Strategy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin there have been numerous positive statements around changing policy in various areas.

Speaking at a recent ‘Support. Don’t Punish’ event, Ó Ríordáin stated he is “an advocate for the decriminalisation of drugs”

You can see his speech here

Another interesting development is the fact an Oireachtas Committee traveled to Portugal to find out more about how its drug reform has worked.

The committee recently released its reported and you can read it in full here

The report states that the Portuguese model “has not resulted in an increase in drug-taking nor has it resulted in Portugal becoming a destination for drug tourists”

The report also states that the model had “actually resulted in reducing costs to the state”

The Committee also stated that Portuguese government and justice officials told them

    • The number of crimes directly related to drug addiction had decreased
    • There was at least the same intolerance towards drug trafficking
    • The number of HIV/Aids cases dropped dramatically.

The Report also found

  • Drug consumers are no longer looked upon or treated as criminals, not only by the authorities, but also by society (including their own families);
  • They became less dependent on traffickers and police discretion, being especially true when it comes to people with less resources;
  • The end of thousands of criminal cases for drug consumption, that cost time and money with absolutely no gain;
  • By being easier to know who is buying drugs, it is easier to know who is selling them.

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin is set to meet the Committee on Thursday where more details should emerge on the report and its findings.

However an even more interesting development is the fact that for the first time the Irish public have the opportunity to have their say on the decriminalisation of drugs for personal use.

As reported in the Irish Examiner the Oireachtas Committee which traveled to Portugal is seeking submissions from people and organisations on alternatives to the current model of criminalisation.

You can learn more about how the submissions process works and how you can particpate here

The deadline for submissions is August 7th.

This is a great opportunity for members of the public to help shape the debate. I would strongly urge you to take the next few weeks to work on a strong proposal.

Groups such as SSDP Ireland and NORML Ireland are likely going to submit proposals. Feel free to contact them if you wish to assist or need assistance with your own proposal.

I am  going to submit a proposal (or two) to the committee and I will make it available to read on the blog.

Please take this opportunity to get involved. It could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

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14 thoughts on “Government Asks For Public Submissions On Drug Policy

  1. I think this is fantastic ,as if seen written it cost x amount of millions to send mainly young people through our courts system for being caught with small amounts of cannibas ect ,if decriminalised even better made legal for recreation and medical use ,that money then can be used up for better purposes ,,plus Garda time not being used up for silly petty things like small amounts of cannibas

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  2. I am for it. Following this step people will not rely on illegal purchase of drugs from unauthorised sellers. This would greatly decrease crime rates as people will no longer feel the need to do it in secret. As long as the correct information about the effects of all drug types are taught to our citizens… Every person will still have their own choice.

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  3. Full legalization and tourism to the land of the green will flourish
    For medical usage reasons it will save the irish taxpayer millions
    Free up the courts and Garda resources to investigate more serious crimes
    Farmers could grow hemp for many industrial uses.

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  4. It needs regulation and control as we have seen with synthetic cannabis. It is also easier now for a kid on the street to get cannabis or any other drug’s easier than drink as they only have to ask one person and its much easier for them. It has also a lot of health benefits tourism work the list goes a mile on!! I strongly believe like america much need money will be boosted into the economy. I have spoken to people before who had been involved in the drug trade of just cannabis and ending up in hospital threatened with mental issues relating to the stress and pressure of their bosses. It’s no more harmful than alcohol and will provide a much need relief on the funds needed to currently battle alcohol abuse. I don’t think anyone’s future should be ruined over a plant with more good causes than bad. I’d rather see tobacco banned for good as it’s a disgrace energy drinks and so much more which is causing more harm than cannabis ever could. I hope that this time they will listen as they should know themselves how much money has been sent abroad from this country just alone on cannabis would truly shock this government the statistics of who smoke it in this country are well of their is alot more smoking than they think and alot more money behind it too. If obama smoked it and ended up president what’s honestly stopping this behind the pharmaceutical companies too loose money as it should be done as america the profit all goes to helping the communities that badly need it and social housing it would be madness not to step forward in light of Englands approach to the substance now.

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  5. Think it’s a step forward to go look at how other countries are progressing and coming to terms with the stigma of cannabis. It would definitely help with pain sufferers, I’m all for it

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