By Daragh Brophy

A former Assistant Garda Commissioner has called for the decriminalisation of people caught with small amounts of illicit drugs. The current approach to drug policy in Ireland is criminalising young people and minimising their life chances, Jack Nolan, who retired from the force last year, told a town hall-style meeting on the issue last night. The meeting, at the Wood Quay venue in Dublin city centre, was organised by the Ana Liffey Drug Project to coincide with the start of a public consultation on whether our current laws need to change. Nolan, who at the time of his retirement was heading up policing in the Dublin Metropolitan Region and who now sits on Ana Liffey’s board, said the area of drug decriminalisation was a complex one and that there were no “silver bullet” solutions.