“There should never be criminal proceedings for being found in possession of drugs”, Tony Duffin CEO Ana Liffey Drug Project (Via thejournal.ie)

December 29, 2018

As 2018 comes to a close Tony Duffin takes a look at where Ireland is at with regard to decriminalising people who use drugs.

“There is strong support to decriminalise people who use drugs from civil society organisations like CityWide Drugs Crisis Campaign, the National Family Support Network, Peter McVerry, UISCE, Novas, Merchants Quay Ireland, Ana Liffey Drug Project and more. There is also, strong support from high profile individuals like Philly McMahon and Emmet Kirwan…”

“The evidence is clear – criminalising people simply because they are in possession of drugs for personal use is counterproductive. It does not result in an increase in drug related harm, but does reduce the harm that is caused by criminalisation itself, such as a restriction on a person’s ability to travel or access the labour market…”

“…we are hopeful that the working group will follow this evidence, as well as listening to the members of the public who made submissions to the call for inputs – we believe that the majority of those that made submissions will have been supportive of decriminalising people who use drugs, as was the case when the Joint Committee received public submissions in 2015, when over 90% of submissions favoured decriminalisation.”

Read the full opinion piece from Tony Duffin on thejournal.ie here

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