The outgoing head of one of the country's leading addiction charities says he is conflicted by a proposal to decriminalise drugs for personal use.
The Government is considering changing the law so that people caught with small amounts of heroin, cocaine and cannabis will not go to prison.
A public consultation on reducing harm and supporting recovery opened in May, but the findings are yet to be revealed.
Tony Geoghegan, who is retiring as CEO of Merchants Quay Ireland, believes that personal drug use needs to be removed from the criminal justice system.
He said: "I'm not saying it's ok to deal drugs and import drugs, it's not, and obviously those issues need to be addressed because there are criminals making money for drugs.
"I would be concerned if it was just a laissez-faire attitude, but I do think we need to take it out of the criminal justice system."