Decriminalising drug users - A new strategy

As revealed in yesterday’s Irish Examiner, a confidential report on Ireland’s drugs strategy recommends that those found in possession of illegal drugs for personal use be cautioned rather than prosecuted by the gardaí.

A survey conducted by a panel of experts from the Lisbon- based European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction found that resources used to criminalise simple possession could be better employed in tackling organised crime and dealing with the growing internet drugs market.

That makes sense, particularly in view of last month’s EU Drug Markets Report, which revealed that Vietnamese crime gangs have been active in Ireland for some time. The report also refers to a survey which shows young people in Ireland aged between 15 and 24 are the highest users in the EU of new psychoactive substances and so-called legal highs.

Perhaps, given the seriousness of the illicit drug problem in Ireland, we need a cabinet minister to take charge and renew political engagement with tackling the scourge of the modern age.

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