An Irish Oireachtas committee has recommended the decriminalisation and regulation of illicit drugs for personal use.
A Joint Committee on Justice report, published on Wednesday December 14th, acknowledged “the harms associated with pursuing a criminal justice led approach to drug use and misuse and recommends that a health led approach is prioritised in both policy and practice.”
Apart from decriminalising drugs “in line with emerging international best-practice,” the report also recommends increased investment to harm reduction services, including social interventions and addiction treatments.
The report also suggests expanding the Medical Cannabis Acces Programme (MCAP) to allow more people suffering from chronic illness to gain access to medical grade marijuana.
Cathaoirleach of the Committee, Deputy James Lawless, details his thoughts on the report in an online statement, saying: “In selecting this topic, the Committee recognised the ongoing and significant problems with drug addiction in Ireland and the tragic impact this has on societies, communities and families.
“The Committee heard figures during its public engagement that the rate of drug deaths in Ireland ranks at three times the European average and that these figures are among the highest within the EU,” he adds.
“The written submissions received and, at our meetings, the witnesses provided the Committee with an insight into several areas where it was felt that Ireland’s approach towards drug policies could be re-examined.” says Lawless.