By Dr Caitlin Hughes, Professor Alex Stevens, Shann Hulme and Dr Rebecca Cassidy

This report reviews approaches taken in Ireland and other jurisdictions to simple possession drug offences with the aim of outlining alternative approach options that would be possible in the Irish context. The review was conducted for the Irish Department of Justice & Equality and the Department of Health (and the working group on this issue) over the period May to September 2018.

More specifically, the review covers:

A. The current legislative regime that applies to simple possession offences in Ireland and the rationale underpinning this approach, and any evidence of its effectiveness.

B. The approaches and experiences in nine other jurisdictions to dealing with simple possession offences.

C. The advantages and disadvantages, as well as the potential impact and outcomes of any alternative approaches to the current Irish system for the individual, the family and society, as well as for the CJS and the health system.