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What would an Ireland with full legalization of drugs be?

  • 11-02-2023 5:25pm
    Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭slither12

    The government is making plans to decriminalize certain drugs but I was wondering what would happen if we had full legalization. With the exception of certain drugs (ironically legal highs a while back) like spice, flakka. I'm mean the typical downers (heroin), uppers (cocaine, amphetamines), and hallucinogens (cannabis, LSD, psilocybin).

    The biggest issue with street drugs is the quality control, legal problems, and addictiveness. Since legalization would get rid of the former two, would we start to see more addicts? There's an American professor called Carl Hart who says that even a drug like heroin can be used moderately. They also prescribe meth for ADHD.



  • Registered Users Posts: 78,847 ✭✭✭✭Overheal

    IIRC in the mid 00's or early 10's there was an effort to decriminalize drugs via head shops in at least one part of Ireland, but the county or w/e canned the proposal after those shops quickly became the target of violent crime, arson, etc. I think the general assumption was that was organized crime pushing back against legalization - they like their control of the markets as it is apparently. A heroin or cocaine cartel has no interest paying taxation or dealing with state regulation, and they have the weaponization to put word to action.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭Count Dracula

    A large increase in criminality as drug dealers would need to lol elsewhere for wealth creation. You would see a significant increase in racketeering. theft and other forms of organised crime.

    Great for drug takers however. Better homogenized product, accessibility of product etc. It would allow them safer environments or lifestyles to enable their habit.

    There would be a large emphasis on what is or what is not legalised. You would see a gold rush from back door pharmacists developing more illicit concoctions to enable the appetites of the illegal market.

    You should see a decrease in street crime associated with the necessities of addicts, they should be able to score cheaper, safer product, which means that would not have to resort to stealing and other undesirable activity to feed their habit. Or prostitution.

    It should allow for Garda resources to refocus their attention on other forms of criminality.

    Decriminalisation would have to be introduced in line with other EU countries, or every EU junckie would be on the next boat or plane over.

  • Registered Users Posts: 402 ✭✭Kurooi

    I'm not sure much would change regarding the economics of it. Legal drugs sold legally would be too expensive for majority of the people who take them. People currently on hard drugs will continue to look to the black market.

    But reaching out and helping people with the effects or addiction would be easier to address once you're not threatening them with jail.

    Well might as well ban alcohol then. And tobacco. and nicotine products. Then naturally sugar, fast food, take aways. We should certainly look to banning phones, TV, internet, games. People get way too addicted to all of that. We should strive to protect everyone from themselves. Sit back, relax and let your superiors tell you what you are and aren't allowed to do.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24 bannedboyband

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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,320 ✭✭✭✭kneemos

    Methadone is available I believe for addicts wanting to quit. Don't know the ins and outs of it,but legalising hard drugs is definitely a crazy idea. People are the problem. Tobacco, alcohol,codeine products in the States,we know how it goes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,121 ✭✭✭✭whisky_galore

    Yes, people are the problem and can't be told.

    If you think A&E is bad now with angry people hopped up on coke or benzos or what have you and assaulting staff just think how much worse it would be with less controls.

    You will get a lot more randoms rocking up offering you gear on street corners a la Portugal too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,187 ✭✭✭Pauliedragon

    Does it really matter? It's defacto legal already. Police turn a blind eye to dealers every day where I live. It's not that I'm in a rough area but I'm close to Cork city. I could buy buy coke, weed, and anything else I want in the time I'm typing this post. Get it over and done with it's clear the cops don't care and I don't blame them to a point because there's no punishment. I see more bags of white powder changing hands in my small local pub than pints being ordered.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,508 ✭✭✭✭igCorcaigh

    Alcohol is an atypical recreational drug though, as it is addictive, "easy" (in the psychological sense), and very harmful when used in the long term.

    Psychedelics differ from alcohol in each of these aspects, and it would be this class of drugs that I think would benefit individuals and society. But I'm probably biased on that point.

    To the OP's question; we simply don't know what a free for all of all recreational drugs could look like, as it hasn't been tried in contemporary culture.

    It would be the other extreme to what we have now: prohibition of all psychoactive substances bar alcohol, nicotine an caffeine, with legal consequences for those individuals who choose to consume them.

  • I had major surgery last year and was on oxy, the hospital were very responsible and stopped the oxy on the 2nd day

    in America it’s very different

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  • I took mushrooms at my wedding 😂😂great night

  • Registered Users Posts: 561 ✭✭✭Tomaldo

    I'd love to see legalization tried, if it doesn't work out, then revert to prohibition. The present policy obviously isn't working. They say about 10% of illegal drugs are seized, when I was in school if u got that in an exam, you failed and this has been happening for decades globally. When they ended prohibition in America, 3 positives happened, the Al Capones went out of the business, the product was safer and they were able to tax it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,508 ✭✭✭✭igCorcaigh

    For me, #decrim is the most important thing.

    People who choose to use drugs, other than alcohol, can be fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, hauled into a court, or worse.

    It's such an invasion of the rights of an individual.

  • Registered Users Posts: 470 ✭✭archermoo

    Portugal did basically that more than 20 years ago. It seems to be working out quite well for them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭slither12

    What was your experience on it?

    People say that opioids are the epitome of pleasure and are instantly addictive but I know a few people who just feel dizzy and nauseous on them.

    Most addiction research shows that a drug is only one component of addiction and personal trauma is probably an equal if not greater predictor of getting hooked on something. Millions drink in this country throughout the week and few become full blown alcoholics.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,272 ✭✭✭Markcheese

    Where are the drugs to come from ?marijuana could be licensed to be grown locally , or imported from Europe for eg .

    Pills ect ? How would that be licensed or approved .

    It probably wouldn't be cheap though , by the time gov licenses ,and taxes are paid ..

    If done on a Europe wide - or Europe and Us basis ,it could change whole countries or regions economies , imagine Colombia and Bolivia , legalized coca growing , local processing into base, safe transport , controlled export and quality control ,

    But would that lead to huge health problems - a question on your vhi form : do you take cocaine , we won't cover x y z conditions

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,737 ✭✭✭TomTomTim

    I have to say, in the context of this country anyway it would be pointless. The Irish state loves to suck every cent out of us that they can, so drugs would be highly taxed. A gram of weed would cost 50, a gram of coke would cost a few hundred. There'd be so much tax on drugs that the black market would still flourish making it all a waste of time.

    “The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than anyone else. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offense, isn't it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill--he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it.”- ― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,316 ✭✭✭✭rossie1977

    The black market for illegal alcohol in Ireland isn't making any multi millionaires that I know of or huge amount of gang violence associated with it. Yet when prohibition was at its height in the US the exact same issues; crime, gangs, small groups of criminals getting super rich, badly tainted product killing consumers existed...

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,737 ✭✭✭TomTomTim

    Legal weed has not stopped black markets. While you've a point about alcohol, we've a big black market for tobacco already which supports my point. Before the take off of the drug trade, a large amount of those smugglers used to smuggle/deal in tobacco instead.

    “The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than anyone else. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offense, isn't it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill--he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it.”- ― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭slither12

    That's true but I think the poster has a point. The reason why a black market doesn't exist is because alcohol is too easy for any Tom, Dick, and Harry to ferment. Hell, if you leave grapes or apples to go bad, the natural yeast will ferment them into ethanol. As well as that, people here could just hop on a plane and go to EU countries with cheaper alcohol.

    When it comes to drugs like cannabis, ecstasy, meth, or heroin, those drugs are both illegal and impossible to make yourself without expensive equipment and knowledge. Therefore, people just resort to buying from the black market.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,943 ✭✭✭xhomelezz

    Personally, all I want is weed to be legalized.. Wouldn't touch anything else myself at this stage of my life. Not gonna buy weed on the street. How the heck I would know what I'm getting?

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,316 ✭✭✭✭rossie1977

    Legalisation isn't going to get rid of all black market activities no but it would massively reduce it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,390 ✭✭✭Flaneur OBrien

    Ehhh... It's ridiculously easy to grow cannabis.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,272 ✭✭✭Markcheese

    It is. But most people don't want to get caught with a couple of plants ..

    If marijuana were legalized , what sort of restrictions would be placed on that , age of the buyer ? THC content ? , How it's processed ,

    And would you legalize everything or just decriminalize certain drugs ?

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,873 ✭✭✭mikethecop

    of course this absolutely did not happen.

    What actually happened was that greedy scumbags exploited the fact that drugs had to be added to the a list on the Miss Use of Drugs Act. So they imported new and untested chemicals from china and sold them to every one any any one regardless of age. the result was massively damaging health and mental health issues. this was ended by this

    Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Act 2010 (

    One or two head shops were damaged or attacked by drug dealers but all the rest were shut down by regulation not criminal activity's

  • Registered Users Posts: 296 ✭✭Ham_Sandwich

    everyone and their granny does have a few joints during the week then a few bags of sniff on the weekend no point in keeping it illegal

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,390 ✭✭✭Flaneur OBrien

    Are you asking me, or the world in general? I was just pointing out that it's very easy to grow cannabis. You don't need anything special. When I was younger I had a cannabis plant growing on my windowsill (4th storey up tbf 😂)

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,272 ✭✭✭Markcheese

    I can't picture my gran ever having been like that .. either of them ..

    But I don't see that all drugs should be criminalized either

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,470 ✭✭✭✭Tony EH

    What would an Ireland with full legalization of drugs be?

    A fucking nightmare.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 78,847 ✭✭✭✭Overheal