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Carrying drugs for personal use is illegal. But politicians are looking at changing that

DECRIMINALISING THE POSSESSION of drugs for personal use is to be considered by the Oireachtas.

A delegation from the Oireachtas Justice Committee visited Portugal last month where the approach as been in operation for 15 years.

The public’s views are now being sought about whether a similar approach should be considered here.

In 2001, Portugal introduced a system whereby drugs were not legalised but possession of a small quantity did not result in a criminal record.

Instead, possession of illegal drugs is treated in a similar way to a traffic offence and anyone in possession must attend a treatment programme within three days.

Funding for this service is split, with 60% provided by the State and 40% by the National Lottery.

A report published by the Justice Committee outlined that, while it might be suggested that such programmes could add to the cost of healthcare, the experience in Portugal has “actually...

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URL: 
http://www.thejournal.ie/drugs-decriminalisation-2196034-Jul2015/