Should we stop bringing criminal charges against those possessing drugs for personal use?
As a starting point, it’s important to consider what is meant by ‘decriminalisation’. Simply put, decriminalisation refers to a situation whereby certain drug related offences are no longer dealt with under the criminal law. So, for example, as the law stands in Ireland, it’s illegal to possess certain substances pursuant to section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977. If that offence were to be removed, simple possession would be decriminalised – it would no longer be a criminal offence.