Group calls for decriminalisation of minor drugs possession by 2022

Ireland should aim to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of drugs within five years, a State-funded drugs policy group has recommended.

At the launch of the new 2018-2020 strategy for the Ana Liffey Drug Project, which also provides treatment services in the midwest and Dublin, the organisation’s chief executive Tony Duffin outlined its goal to see decriminalisation introduced by 2022.

“It’s an important statement of intent, this idea that we want to see decriminalisation of small amounts of drugs for personal use. I don’t know what that model looks like, that remains to be seen and it’s the decision of the Government,” he said.

The Government is currently in the process of formulating a new drugs strategy following a public consultation process last year.

Any decriminalisation regime is likely to resemble the one currently in force in Portugal, where people caught with small quantities of illicit substances are diverted to treatment facilities rather than being dealt with through the criminal justice system.

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Source: The Irish Times, January 26th 2018

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