News & Media

New approach to drugs destined to fail

2 August 2019

Statement by Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin
Spokesperson on Education and Skills, Gaeilge and the Gaeltacht

Labour Party Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has said the Government’s three strikes and you’re out approach to personal use of drugs is destined to fail.

Senator Ó Ríordáin said:

“The Government had a once in a generation opportunity to radically change our approach to drugs policy and they have failed abysmally.

“It is absolutely ridiculous that recommendations within their own report stating that custodial sentences for drug use be abandoned have been ignored.

“No matter how many ways they try to spin it, it is clear that that the Government still feel that you can police someone out of addiction.

“If someone is consistently found to have drugs on their possession, then that person has an addiction - using a three strikes approach feeds again into the victim-blaming model which has failed so spectacularly in the past.

“This is not a human rights-based approach. This will not save lives. It gives the appearance of compassion while pursing the same bankrupt approach which has the criminal justice system at its core.

“No matter how progressive Fine Gael want to come across on drugs, their actions show that they just don’t get it.”