Ireland Moves Towards Decriminalising ‘Small Amounts Of Drugs’


Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Irish minister with Responsibility for National Drug Strategy is set to lay out a plan "to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of drugs, including heroin, cocaine and cannabis, for personal use, as part of a “radical cultural shift” in the approach to drug addiction."

The Irish Times has reportred details of the Minister's forthcoming speech, which calls for 'compassion' on the issue of drug misuse, and a desire to break drug use from criminal convictions. Ó Ríordáin is implementing some policies rapidly, with supervised injecting rooms opening in Dublin next year, followed shortly afterwards by Cork, Galway and Limerick. 

Ireland has long struggled with heroin blighting communities, and it's remarkable to see a minister engaging in the realities of the situation rather than regurgiatating discredited 'war on drugs' propaganda.  

From the Irish Times;

"Mr Ó Ríordáin said he wanted to remove the “stigma” from drug addiction and the key to this will be preventing, as much as possible, those caught up in addiction ending up with criminal convictions. He added that the “shame” that dominates the discourse around drug use “disrupts the capacity of families and individuals” to seek help."

"Though a matter for the next administration, he told The Irish Times there was now a “strong consensus that drugs across the board should be decriminalised”, but that this would be a matter “for the next government”.