Senior Garda says he has serious concerns over any move to legalise drug use of any kind in Ireland – – Our News, Your Views

Senior Garda says he has serious concerns over any move to legalise drug use of any kind in Ireland

A senior garda officer said gardaí would have “grave concerns” about the potential legalisation of controlled drugs, reports Breaking News.

Deputy Garda Commissioner Justin Kelly told a civic gathering on drug use in Dublin that international experience had shown that legalization had not removed the influence of organized crime groups on illegal drug trafficking.

Over the weekend, the assembly is holding its fourth meeting, which will focus on criminal justice and the legal system.

Delegates are considering legislative, policy and operational changes that could significantly reduce the harmful impact of illicit drugs on Irish society.

Mr Kelly told the rally that the military’s priority is targeting those involved in the sale and supply of drugs, not those in possession of drugs for personal use.

He said: “In 2022 nationwide we initiated approximately 11,000 Section 3 prosecutions. This resulted in 261 individuals receiving sentences of imprisonment or suspended terms of imprisonment. Every one of these people had multiple previous convictions. In fact the median number was 76 previous convictions. To be clear not one of this 261 was a first time offender. In our current system it is not the norm to be imprisoned for personal use of drugs possession,” reports Breaking News.

He added: “The focus of all our drugs units around the country and on the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime bureau is on the sale and supply, not on possession. Our focus is on targeting those harming our community by supplying drugs,” reports Breaking News.

The officer said: “An Garda Síochána is supportive of the current health-led approach but has grave concerns around any potential legalisation of controlled drugs. These concerns are based on the implications for the whole of our society, not focusing just on those who consume drugs. My colleagues in North and South America have been very clear with me that legislation will not remove the influence of organised crime groups who will continue to maintain the illicit black market undercutting legal prices and increasing strengths of drugs,” reports Breaking News.

Chair of the Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use Paul Reid said: “We are now over halfway through the assembly’s work programme and are starting to focus on what type of final recommendations we will make. As part of this, it is extremely important to consider the views of those involved in how the justice system manages the drugs issue. This is an extremely complicated discussion,” reports Breaking News.

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