Under the influence: The highs and lows of drugs and addiction

The Citizens’ Assembly on drugs is looking at what changes could be made to legislation to reduce the impact on individuals, families and communities – but not everyone agrees on the best way forward

‘Moral positions’ are attached to drug use which influence policies that decide what is legal or illegal

When Gillian O’Donnell pleaded with a judge not to put her in prison for four months for a minor crime, a decision which would ultimately result in her losing her children and her home, she was asked where her parents were.

“I said, ‘technically, Your Honour, that’s you.’ I was a ward of the state since I was six years old,” O’Donnell tells 100 people gathered in a Malahide hotel ballroom.

“She [the judge] basically ...