Time for a more sensible conversation on drugs

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While I am currently not in favour of legalising cannabis, I think we have to have a more sensible conversation on the role of drugs in our lives and how we might solve the problems that arise.

I base my views on my experience as a youth worker for four years in Galway City before I became involved in national politics. I have seen at first hand that young people have access to all types of drugs and I saw my role as someone trying to educate them and hoping that they would make a decision for themselves not to take drugs.

For some politicians to stand up and proclaim that ‘drugs are bad’, while their intentions may be honourable, they are missing the point that drugs are available in vast quantities in every community in Ireland.

As a nation we are somewhat hypocritical in our attitude, as seen in our relationship to alcohol, and it is very possible to find public representatives around the country who will proclaim how much they dislike drugs, yet have no issue with someone having two or three pints and driving home.

The so-called ‘war on drugs’ has failed and we as a society need to explain to people that in a lot of cases, purchasing these drugs is fuelling criminal gangs and while they may consider their use to be recreational, there is a more sinister element involved.