Aodhán Ó Ríordáin calls for step change in the way drug users are treated in Ireland. The Social Democratic Party has called for decriminalization for personal use.
The politician wants the state to take a more health-based approach to drug use. At the same time, police resources need to be strengthened to deal with organized crime gangs, traffickers and dealers.
“The criminalization just hasn't worked in Ireland, in Europe or abroad,” he said. “Next week Labor will demand that the government set a date for a citizens' meeting on drugs, with an emphasis on decriminalizing the user.
“The government program has committed parties in government to convene a citizens' assembly on drugs, but despite the Taoiseach's stated intention to do so in the second half of this year, there is as yet no indication if or when this will happen.
Many deaths from abuse
Substance abuse and its harmful consequences, including violent crimes, harassment and extortion targeting addicts, their families and their communities, are no longer urban phenomena and are scattered across the state. “Ireland now has the joint highest number of drug-induced deaths among 16-64 year olds in the EU. Labor is proposing that the state recognize this and move to a health-based, rather than criminal-based, healthcare system.
Source: Irishtimes.com (EN)