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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: -1°C
War On Drugs

Why Richard Boyd Barrett thinks heroin and cocaine should be decriminalised

The People Before Profit TD has argued that all drugs should be decriminalised. Here’s why…

Video: Paul Hosford /

RICHARD BOYD BARRETT has described the current approach to drugs as “hypocritical” and favours decriminalising all substances, including heroin and cocaine.

In an interview with today, the People Before Profit today said that heroin in particular has been a “desperate problem” that has ravaged his constituency of Dún Laoghaire and claimed the lives of some of his friends.

He insisted that he was not being “glib or hippy about it” but that by criminalising drugs they’re being driven “into the hands of more criminal elements”. He explained:

I don’t think they should be criminal. I mean that’s the point, I said decriminalise it. I don’t think it works. I think it’s a failed policy. I think criminalising people, putting them in prison, just makes the problem worse.

He said that in the same why he doesn’t think “peddlers of alcohol” should be jailed, he would not advocate jailing peddlers of cocaine.

Boyd Barrett said he would favour an approach that involved a register of some sorts, as well as the involvement of the health service and pharmacies.

“Criminalising it and driving it into the criminal underworld is very counter-productive and is probably contributing to more of the deaths,” he insisted.

Watch the video above for more on Boyd Barrett’s views on why we should decriminalise drugs.

Watch out for more from the interview on tomorrow and in the coming days.

Read: Man found with 31 pellets of cannabis in his stomach

WATCH: ‘I lost the rag to make Joan Burton wake up’

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