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04th Nov 2015

Ireland set to decriminalise cannabis, cocaine and heroin

Forty shades of green

Kevin Beirne

We knew Irish people loved craic, but this is still pretty surprising.

The Republic of Ireland could be set to decriminalise certain drugs in the country as early as next year, according to the head of the country’s National Drugs Strategy, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.

It will no longer be illegal to possess drugs like cannabis, cocaine or even heroin – although it would still be illegal to sell or distribute them for profit.

Ireland accidentally legalised drugs such as crystal meth and ecstasy earlier this year after their ban was ruled unconstitutional. Emergency legislation was quickly rushed through to reinstate the ban – but decriminalisation would be a long-term move.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Ó Ríordáin says that although his proposal would only decriminalise certain drugs, he believes there is a “strong consensus that drugs across the board should be decriminalised” in Ireland but that it would be a matter for the next government, which will take over some time next year.

The new laws will allow for the opening of ‘injection centres’ in Ireland’s major cities, where drug addicts will be allowed to shoot up in a safe environment in an attempt to tackle the country’s growing drug problem.

The UK could soon follow Ireland’s lead, as the United Nations are believed to be readying themselves to call for the decriminalisation of all drugs on public health and human rights grounds.