The Citizens’ Assembly’s final report on drug use has been published, which includes 36 recommendations for the Oireachtas. The report suggests a “decriminalised” model for anyone found in possession of narcotics for personal use, while nevertheless making possession unlawful under the law.

The report urges the government to look at drug use in a new light as we begin addressing drug use in modern-day Ireland. Chairman of The Citizens Assembly Paul Reid said the group’s recommendations\ “are a strong call of action to the Government that the State needs to take a far more comprehensive and coherent approach to drug use in Ireland”.

“It is urgent that drug policy be given greater priority as many people in this country cannot afford to wait any longer.”

There are 36 proposals in total, and while most were agreed upon and enacted with broad support, one significant exception at the Citizens Assembly was a vote on cannabis possession for personal use. There were evident splits between those who supported a health-led response, including decriminalisation, and those who advocated for cannabis legalization and regulation.

“The emergence of highly potent synthetic opioids towards the end of 2023 and the ongoing drugs-related criminality and violence are daily reminders of the wider threats and challenges that exist arising from drug use.”

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