Citizens' Assembly

Elaine Byrne: Citizens Assembly will hopefully hear some long-awaited honesty about drug use

Even though the use of illegal drugs in Ireland is prevalent in every community in Ireland, there is still a stifling stigma around the issue so the Citizens’ Assembly on Drug Use should serve to legitimise the debate around decriminalisation

Paul Reid, chairman of the Citizens’ Assembly on drugs use in Malahide: cautioned about the use of language around drug use as it ‘contributes to stigmatisation’. Picture: Maxwell Photography

The traditional response to drug use by mainstream political parties is to ignore it is happening.

When it becomes too visible to ignore, the response is to ghettoise this social problem by moving it away from the main thoroughfares and into socio-economically deprived areas. The buying, selling and open use of drugs is controlled by confining it geographically to specific communities where it cannot be so easily seen by the voting middle classes.

This hear-no-evil, ...