Ireland officials recently met about their concerns over Ireland’s national drug abuse problem. They appear to be leaning to the idea that all drugs should be decriminalized.
Years ago, Portugal decriminalized all drugs and applied a public health approach to illegal drug use because of increasing drug overdose deaths and HIV/AIDS. Years later, Portugal has the second lowest number of drug-related deaths in all of Europe.
Ireland is leaning towards the approach of treating drug abuse as a public health issue rather than criminal justice issue.
The Irish Minister stated that there has been “wide consensus within the room for decriminalization” and there are still “some question marks and some discussion points as to how to get wider society on board with the idea.” He further noted that “people in the sector may be convinced but the terminology and the language is going to be important.”