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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 2 Dec 1997

Vol. 483 No. 6

Written Answers. - Illicit Drugs.


433 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the plans, if any, he has to pressure the Netherlands and other EU jurisdictions, where certain drugs have been decriminalised or tolerated, into reversing their experiment. [21566/97]

I am of course concerned at any decriminalisation of illicit drugs and the development of practices in certain EU countries which may reflect a tolerance of certain illicit drugs. The Irish Government is opposed to the decriminalisation of drugs, including the so called "soft drugs". The Government is conscious that tolerance of drugtaking may send the wrong message to our vulnerable young people, if not provide them with an avenue of access to drugs.

I can assure the Deputy that the concerns raised by him are shared in other EU countries and that efforts are being made to achieve a consistent EU approach to the drugs problem. This has been reflected in a joint action agreed by the Council of Ministers concerning the approximation of the laws and practices of the member states to combat drug addiction and to prevent and combat illegal drug trafficking. I am forwarding a copy to the Deputy.