Garda Photos Spark Public Backlash

Almost two weeks ago the Facebook page of An Garda Síochána (Irish police) uploaded a couple of pictures following a cannabis seizure.

The photos show what appears to be a couple of grams of cannabis and a grinder. Hardly a significant bust by any standard, and something which could be decriminalised in the near future.

grinder grinder1
The photo took time to go viral but once it did the comments section was filled with ridicule from the public.

Perhaps the best was “Like and share to win” as posted by one commentator.

Here is a selection of some of the comments:

“Fucking hell lads, you’re all such Heros, I feel so much safer on the streets now knowing you’ve apprehend the biggest drug lord since Pablo Escobar. Give yerselfs a pat on the back”

“Well done garda… I can get some sleep now that there’s one less 50 bag on the streets … Mupppets!”

“Congratulations on this significant seizure, I can only imagine the amount of strategic planning involved to return this yield.”

“The reaction this pic is getting says it all really. Time to legalize it!”

“A small bag of weed? What’s that 50/100euro worth? You wasted your time taking this picture cause you found some weed on some poor unfortunate young lad/girl who’s probably going to have to go to court pay a fine and have a record limiting his/her chances of a job in the future. Well done lads. I bet ye thought ye were right hero’s talking that picture.”

“That can of Lynx is the most dangerous thing in the photo.”

“What a complete joke. A small bit of personal cannabis and that’s worth posting a picture and being a complete open target for abuse. Don’t chase the smokers chase the suppliers or even better just make weed legal and let people make there own choice weather to smoke it or not”

“Now, another Irish youth with a criminal record, that will effect him for the rest of his life. Over something so stupid. Well done Irish government.”

“Ahh no way…poor chaps arm rest looks broke..good job spotting that lads..”

The Garda are just enforcing the law as it stands, but the glorification of such a small seizure on the social media is surely a faux pas (embarrassing blunder). As one commentator suggested the reaction says it all.

Over the past year I have attended a number of drug policy events featuring, or with Garda in attendance. Opinion in the force is split but the Garda Commissioner and others are open to a debate. Many see arresting cannabis users as a waste but also have to enforce the law.

Jokes aside, some road users who are also cannabis consumers are worried over the new drug driving laws which are due. Changes in the legislation could see users prosecuted even though they are not under the influence at the time

The law has not be enacted yet and won’t be until the next government has been formed. Nobody endorses cannabis users driving under the influence, it is the retrospective punishment being proposed that is nothing short of outrageous.

I will keep you posted on the law as it emerges.

For now the Garda can glorify the arrest of someone for simple cannabis possession, hopefully by years end that will no longer be a reality.

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