The Last Post

Matt Cooper: Finally, penny drops that treating drugs scourge as justice issue has utterly failed

Varadkar’s belated conversion to examining health solutions needs to be backed up with money and resources

Paul Reid, chair of Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use, with Hildegarde Naughton, junior drugs strategy minister, at launch of report in Dublin Castle. Picture: Sasko Lazarov

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has come around to the idea that dealing with drug abuse should be regarded as a public health priority rather than a criminal justice one. It is to be presumed that his justice minister Helen McEntee will agree. In that she would differ from two predecessors, Michael McDowell and Charlie Flanagan.

In 2006, the garda force put forward the idea of merely issuing cautions to the users of cannabis, rather than wasting ...