Citizens' Assembly On Drug Use...


Citizens' Assembly On Drug Use Vote For Health-Led Approach To All Drugs

Emily Keegan
Emily Keegan

04:08 21 Oct 2023

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The Citizens' Assembly on Drug Use meet this weekend to examine a number of issues that could change how drugs are regulated in Ireland.

Members are voting in six ballot papers over the weekend on what to recommend to Government in terms of future legislation.

Before voting began this morning, assembly members aired concerns over the transparency of the proceedings, with some describing the process as undemocratic and managed.

Assembly Chair and former CEO of the HSE, Paul Reid, has told members to ignore commentary from outside the room and to focus on the matter at hand today.

Voting got underway this afternoon and, first, they have voted against retaining the status quo in Ireland's approach to drug use.

They voted to introduce a hybrid model on how to approach drug use, depending on the type of drug.

Cannabis, cocaine, and hallucinogenics have been picked out to be dealt with separately, with all other drugs looked at in the same way.

Following those votes, they also decided to recommend a comprehensive health-led approach for all types of drugs.

That means the State would respond to drug use and misuse primarily as a public health issue, rather than a criminal justice issue.

Possession of drugs would still remain illegal, but there would be little to no chance of a criminal conviction or prison sentence.

All decisions voted on by the Assembly will be brought to the Oireachtas.



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