Ireland: Drugs Frontier

Other | Tuesday 3rd November 2015 | Sam


In what could be one of the biggest shake-ups of a nation's drug policy in recent years, the Republic of Ireland are set to decriminalise the use of drugs such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana in small doses. Aodhán O'Ríordáin, chief of Ireland's National Drug Strategy also revealed that there are plans to bring controlled 'injecting rooms' to the Emerald Isle, with the first being established in Dublin as early as next year.

Injecting Room in Vancouver, Canada

In what is being called 'part of a radical cultural shift', O'Ríordáin supports the view of decriminalisation campaigners such as Russell Brand, by agreeing that attitudes towards drug addicts need to change from that of shaming to helping them overcome their problems.

For years, Russell Brand has been campaigning towards the decriminalisation of drugs after suffering with addiction himself in the past. However, this latest revelation will do his campaign the world of good, providing governmental backing to his already well-supported movement. 

Russell Brand - Decriminalisation Campaigner

The Irish government's plans have been revealed following a leaked report from the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) calling for the decriminalisation of drugs worldwide.

However, the report, put together by Dr Monica Beg (Chief of the HIV/AIDs section of UNODC in Vienna) was reportedly withdrawn after at least one nation expressed disagreement, and subsequently put pressure on the body to bury it's findings. The Big Brother society certainly isn't a two-way street!


The plans for decriminalisation still ensure that making a profit from the sale of drugs is still illegal, but drug takers won't have legal action taken against them.

This is certainly nothing but a positive step towards the solution for dealing with those who suffer with drug abuse. However, after stating that the issue will be taken up by the next Irish government, not the current one, it's hard to tell whether O'Ríordáin's plans will come into fruition or not. And if it does take off, will the British government follow suit and make the decriminalisation of drugs a reality in a country where the use of drugs is on the rise? 

For more stats and in-depth of analysis of this hot topic, check out the Independent's take!