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New group to consider “alternative approaches” to drug possession

The working group will be chaired by retired Judge of the Court of Appeal Garret Sheehan and it will hold its first meeting on 11 December.

“A humane and people-centred approach to people who use drugs is at the heart of our new drugs strategy ‘Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery’,” said Minister Byrne.

“Many people who use drugs come into contact with the criminal justice system and acquire criminal convictions either directly or indirectly related to their drug use.

“Criminal convictions can represent a serious impediment for people, particularly in the areas of access to employment, housing and travel. Therefore, it is appropriate that two people who have used drugs will be part of the working group so that their lived experience can inform the deliberations.”

*A full interview with Minister Byrne will be carried in the next edition of the Medical Independent (7 December).

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