You have just seven days to complete the Global Drug Survey, which for the first time this year is including Ireland in its fact-finding brief. From booze and benzies to E and heroin, what are we taking here, how and in what quantity?
Joining Hot Press in the biggest ever survey of its type are other international partners like The Guardian, Huffington Post, La Liberacion, Zeit Online and The Australian.
The findings will be unveiled early next year in a special issue of Hot Press, so make sure to make your mark at [link]www.globaldrugsurvey.com[/link]
Drugs have never been far from the headlines in 2013.
Villagers man Conor J. O’Brien kickstarted the debate in our first issue when he observed, “The ‘war on drugs’ hasn’t worked. I’d be in favour of legalising every drug and making it available in a safe manner. They should just sell weed in shops and stop people having to go to the same places they sell heroin.”
While that flew under the tabloid radar, there was a veritable red-top shitstorm the following month when Bressie told us, “I’m absolutely pro-legalisation. I’ve never been uncomfortable in the company of somebody who’s high on marijuana. Stress will kill you, cannabis won’t. Saying it can lead to other drugs is the weakest, most pathetic argument. The ‘gateway’ thing has been totally disproved. It makes so much sense to tax and regulate it.”
The singer, producer and Voice star hit back at a Daily Mirror ‘Bressie: Make Drugs Legal’ splash that he felt misrepresented his views.
“I would never advocate the legalisation of Class ‘A’ drugs such as cocaine or meth,” he countered. “Stuart Clark and I were discussing the use of cannabis.”
Attention switched after that to Luke Ming Flanagan’s Cannabis Regulation Bill, which dovetailed with the launch of NORML Ireland, the organisation who successfully campaigned for “yes” votes in the Washington and Colorado state referenda on legalising marijuana.
Of the small number of TDs who don’t have to tow the party line, 8 came out in favour of Flanagan’s bill, which after its Dáil airing will next year be presented to the Seanad where we understand there’s some notable support for the proposed legislation.
Significantly, both the Cannabis Regulation Bill and NORML Ireland have had the active support of Dr. Garrett McGovern and Dr. Cathal Ó Súiliobháin, two Irish GPs with between them over 50 years of treating addiction.
Both featured prominently in the media debate surrounding the Ming bill, with RTÉ’s Prime Time and TV3’s Tonight With Vincent Browne among those devoting large chunks of airtime to the subject.
Most seismic though was Uruguay this week becoming the first country in the world to fully legalise marijuana – a move that’s been condemned by the United Nations who one thinks ought to be more concerned with what’s going on in the Central African Republican than a sovereign state with a fully functioning democracy.
All round, it’s been quite a year!
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