NO REPRO FEE 21/6/2016. Campaigners Florian Scheibein, Helena Mullin, Elizabeth Chaconas and Dan Kirby staged a protest installation today at St.Stephen’s Green to call on the Government and the public to support drug policy reform. Members of Help Not Harm, Citywide, BeLonGTo youth group, Students for Sensible Drug Policy Ireland, NORML and International Nurses Society on Addictions (Irish Chapter) came out ahead of the international Support. Don’t Punish. Global Day of Action on June 26th, an awareness day which aims to highlight the inadequacies of current drug laws and the need for new harm reduction measures.75% of all drug arrests in Ireland are for possession of drugs for personal use. This is a highly wasteful use of already limited Garda resources, which should instead be focused on tackling gang-related crime and drug trafficking. “said Graham de Barra, Director of Help Not Harm. ‘Countries like Portugal and Switzerland have moved away from a criminal justice response towards a health-based approach and the results have shown a reduction in HIV rates, a reduction in drug overdoses and an increase in access to treatment.’he added
The campaigners are calling in particular for the decriminalisation of drugs for personal use. There are on average 679 drug_related deaths every year in Ireland, one of the highest rates in the EU. By contrast Portugal, a country which decriminalised all drugs for personal use in 2001, has an average of 32 drug-related deaths every year, a number well below the European average. Photo: Photocall Ireland.