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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Cabinet Committees [Citizens' assembly on drugs].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Cabinet Committees [Citizens' assembly on drugs]. (28 Sep 2021)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2...


Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin - I am delighted to get an opportunity to ask about an issue that falls under the remit of the Taoiseach's Department. The programme for Government includes a commitment to a citizens' assembly on the issue of drugs. As he knows, many people are working on a campaign for the decriminalisation of the drug user. I do not want the word "decriminalisation" in this context to be confused with the idea of decriminalisation or legalisation of drugs. We are talking about the decriminalisation of drug users. The objective is that people who use drugs or have an addiction should not be pushed through the criminal justice system and should be helped, supported and empowered purely through the health system. When is the promised citizens' assembly on drugs, which falls under the Taoiseach's Department, going to happen? 

The Taoiseach - In terms of a citizens' assembly on drugs, I will come back to the Deputy on that, because now that we are coming out of Covid, we might be in a position to accelerate that. We said we would identify three areas for citizens' assemblies. One was the mayoral situation in Dublin and another was drugs. I take the Deputy's point about the decriminalisation of drug users. It is well made. The point that this is fundamentally a health issue as opposed to a justice issue is also well made.

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