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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer - Drugs crime [3771/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer - Drugs crime [3771/14]. (28 Jan 2014)

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581. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the efforts he is making to stigmatise the supporting of the illegal drugs market via the purchase of illegal drugs by casual drug users; his views on whether enough is being done to highlight to people the contribution they make to organised crime, including murder, when they buy drugs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3771/14] 

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): As the Deputy's question quite rightly highlights, in order for illicit drug markets to exist, there must be demand. 

In addressing drug demand, the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016, which seeks to address all of the harm caused to individuals and society by drug misuse, provides a framework for tackling the problem in a partnership approach in relation to drugs supply reduction, education and prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research.
 
The structures charged with implementing the Strategy include statutory, community and voluntary groups at national, regional and local levels. This approach also incorporates the work of Local and Regional Drug Task Forces. In terms of educating the consumers of illicit drugs with regard to the involvement of organised crime I think it is worth recalling that illicit drugs can only be obtained through illicit markets.
 
I do not think there can be any doubt in the minds of drug consumers that they are engaging in an activity which supports organised crime. Neither do I think that we can say there is a dearth of public information concerning the involvement of organised crime in the illicit drug trade.
 
Having said that I would point out that there are a number of relevant initiatives under the National Drugs Strategy. For example, the Dial to Stop Drug Dealing initiative campaign which has been in place since 2008, is a safe and anonymous way for concerned citizens to pass on information on drug dealing by calling the confidential Crimestoppers phone line 1800 25 00 25.
 
Apart from providing a mechanism for increased reporting of drug dealing, a feature of the promotion of this campaign, which has to date involved the support of the local and regional drugs task forces, other stakeholders and local and national media, has been the highlighting of links between drug consumption and organised criminality and a key message of the campaign remains that drug use is harmful to our communities.

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