Ireland: Call for part of Misuse of Drugs Act to be repealed


Ireland: Call for part of Misuse of Drugs Act to be repealed

10 March 2024
Ailbhe Conneely
RTÉ Ireland

A coalition of stakeholders led by a number of TDs and Senators have called for part of the Misuse of Drugs Act to be repealed.

Section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 criminalises people for the possession of drugs for personal use.

Yesterday, the Government announced that it would establish a Joint Oireachtas Committee to consider the Report of the Citizens' Assembly on Drugs Use and respond to its recommendations.

Following months of hearings last year, the assembly voted for a health-led approach to the use of drugs in Ireland.

At a presentation this morning, a group led by Independent Senator Lynn Ruane, Deputy Neasa Hourigan of the Green Party and Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said Section 3 of the act should be repealed as a first step.

At this morning's presentation, coordinator of the Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign Anna Quigley stressed the importance of ending "the current moral judgement of drug use as 'bad' and something for which people need to be punished".

She said repealing the particular section of the act would ensure "effective implementation" of the other recommendations.

It was argued that recommendations regarding health services could not be implemented effectively without repeal.