With one of the highest cocaine usage in Europe, drugs in Ireland have become more prevalent in recent years – would decriminalisation help fight addiction?
This week, a raid by the Army Rangers Wing on the MV Matthew has led to the largest drug seizure in the history of the State.
Officials estimate the drugs found onboard the ship have a street value of around €157 million and weigh over 2,000kgs.
In response to this, a Lunchtime Live listener, Tom, texted the show and said: "The drugs war is pointless. This seizure won't impact street price or availability, cartels price in these losses."
"Recreational drugs are less harmful than alcohol and cigarettes, which we don't ban and anyone addicted to hard drugs like heroin needs a health intervention not criminalising," he said.
"Legalise it, tax it, free up police for any number of other uses beyond deciding that some ways of having fun are out of bounds."
Speaking to the show today, listeners reacted to Tom's message – with John from Dublin saying that addicts should be treated.
"Maybe look at making medicinal cannabis more readily available, jail the dealers and seize their assets," he said.
"I would humiliate recreational drug users –they directly fund murderous cartels, prostitution and child sex trafficking and all for a weekend or festival buzz.
"The war on drugs has clearly failed, it's been going on for 50 or 60 years, it's worse than ever it was."
John said there was not a clear enough line for where legalisation should end.
"Pot, heroin, cocaine, fentanyl – does the Government become the dealer?" he said.
John said the idea the drug cartels would "give up on the hundreds of billions" was "incredibly naive".
"They'll come up with a way of getting around it somehow," he said.
"Some people seem to be having the conversation and think that it's really, really easy to solve the problem."
Suzanne said she would "adamantly" be against legalisation.
"Why would we allow our country to go down that road of actually taking tax and just fueling a route of recreational soft and hard drugs to actually gain tax?" she said.
Suzanne said high drug usage is related to high alcohol intake in Ireland.
"It's the easy acceptance as in Ireland, there is no other source of social activity unless you go to the pub, speaking from somebody who doesn't drink," she said.
"Id anybody has worked in any of the addiction centres, they'll tell you the chronic devastation that both alcohol and drugs cause to families lives.
"We talk about climate change, we talk about global climate change, we talk about sustainability – I think if we're going to try and tackle this we need to join forces with other countries and maybe this a global effort."
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