Ireland to ‘decriminalise’ small amounts of drugs, including heroin, cocaine and cannabis, for personal use
Stressing a distinction between legalisation and decriminalisation, he said it would remain a crime to sell, distribute or profit from illicit drugs. But it would not be a crime to be a drug user or addict.
“This will be a wider discussion under the next government but once people get their head around the argument, about what decriminalisation actually means, that policy won’t be about the drug but about the individual. Then regardless of the drug the individual needs an intervention and society will be saying, ‘the substance is illegal, but you are not a criminal for taking it’.” He concluded: “Above all the mode must be person-centred and involve an integrated approach to treatment and rehabilitation based on a continuum of care with clearly defined referral pathways.” His comments follow a leaked report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, appearing to call for a worldwide decriminalisation on 19 October 2016. The report was reportedly withdrawn after at least one nation put pressure on the international body to bury the findings of Dr Monica Beg, chief of the HIV/AIDs section of the UNODC in Vienna.
Original Article (Irish Times):
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Artwork Fair Use: Provincial Arms of Ireland by Caomhan27