Ireland is set to make a radical change in its drug policies in the next year as the government plans to decriminalize small amounts of crack, heroin and marijuana for personal use and hopes to open “injection rooms”, where people can safely use these drugs across the country.
“I am firmly of the view that there needs to be a cultural shift in how we regard substance misuse if we are to break this cycle and make a serious attempt to tackle drug and alcohol addiction,” Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the chief of Ireland’s National Drugs Strategy told the Irish Times.
Ó Ríordáin also told a group at the London School of Economics on Monday that the government would be opening a series of state run “injection rooms” in Dublin next year.
From The Independent:
“The minister said attitudes to drugs needed to move away from shaming addicts to helping them and emphasised there was a difference between legalisation and decriminalisation.
It would remain a crime to profit – from either the sale or distribution of illegal drugs – but drug takers would no longer be criminalised for their addictions.”
— TransformDrugPolicy (@TransformDrugs) November 2, 2015
The action in Ireland comes on the heels of a failed UN Office on Drugs and Crime effort to pressure nations into decriminalizing the possession of all drugs.
“Small drug related offenses, such as drug dealing to maintain personal drug use or to survive in a very marginalized environment, could be interpreted as drug related offenses of a ‘minor nature’, as mentioned in the international drug control conventions,” the unpublished UN report says according to the BBC. “These cases should receive rehabilitation opportunities, social support and care, and not punishment.”
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