Public debate on decriminalising drugs to take place in Limerick

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

A talk to discuss reforming law on possession of illicit drugs for personal  will be held this Tuesday

A talk to discuss reforming law on possession of illicit drugs for personal will be held this Tuesday

A SPECIAL public talk on whether possession of drugs for personal use should remain a criminal offence will take place in Limerick city centre.

The meeting will take place at the Hunt Museum cafe, Rutland Street, this Tuesday at 6.30pm and is welcome to all members of the public.

The forum is being led by the Ana Liffey Project, the London School of Economics and Hot Press magazine, who will engage in a road show of the discussion nationwide.

“Possession of illicit drugs is a crime, meaning that people who use drugs are, almost by definition, criminals. This tension between criminalising people who use drugs and vindicating a health based approach to drug use is currently a live issue in many countries, and Ireland is no exception,” organisers said.

Organisers said that a joint oireachtas committee recommended that the possession of a small amount of illegal drugs for personal use could be dealt with by way of civil or administrative response, rather than through the criminal justice route.

“We’ll have a conversation about the harms of the current approach, what can be learnt from experiences elsewhere, and what a health led approach to drug use could look like. 2018 is a pivotal time for drug policy in Ireland. We can choose to change how we respond to drug use and to move towards the health-based approach that is mandated by national policy,” they said on the event page online. 

This event takes place one week after authorities, groups and medical experts marked Overdose Awareness Day at City Hall, discussing how Limerick is tackling its addiction problem. The meeting was convened by Metropolitan Mayor Cllr Daniel Butler.