Ireland Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use to outline recommendations for reform

Published 5 days ago on 4th October 2023

By Sarah Sinclair

Members of Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs will outline their recommendations for the country’s drug policy over the coming weeks, with calls for reform expected to be a key feature.  

Following six months of deliberations, the Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use has concluded its consideration of the issues, having heard from a wide range of experts across all aspects of drug use. 

The final panel sessions took place on Sunday 1 October, with the 99 members expected to reconvene later this month to agree on their recommendations. A final report will then be submitted to the Oireachtas by the end of the year. 

Members have now heard a collective 180 hours of discussion from experts in areas such as health, policy, academia and frontline services, as well as hearing from individuals, families and communities who have been impacted by drug use. 

Those who have been following the developments closely have been predicting for some time that a form of decriminalisation is likely to feature as a key recommendation.

Chair of the Assembly, Paul Reid, has also forecast this, telling the Irish Times that there is a ‘strong mood for change’ and a feeling among members that criminalisation is ‘harsh’.

But what form decriminalisation will take remains to be seen 

While the recognition of the need to liberalise drug policy in Ireland will be widely welcomed, exactly what form that will take remains to be seen.

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