The Working Group Report

The Government established a Working Group to consider alternative approaches to the possession of drugs for personal use in December 2017. The formation of this group was a key action in the National Drugs Strategy ‘Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery – a health-led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2025’. The work programme of the group consisted of meetings with experts from other countries, commissioning research on other jurisdictions and undertaking a public consultation. The consultation process included an online questionnaire, focus groups and an open policy debate. The online questionnaire received a response of over 20,000 people.

The Working Group’s report was submitted to Ministers Harris, Flanagan and Byrne at the end of April 2019, along with a minority report from the Chairperson. The report considered a range of approaches from depenalisation to decriminalisation and identified five policy options. Of these, the report recommends three policy options:

The Government has decided to implement a Health Diversion Approach, having considered  the recommendations in the reports.

The report of the Working Group and the minority report can be accessed below: