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Hundreds submit evidence to Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs – here’s how to make yours

Over 400 submissions have been received ahead of the deadline at the end of June.



Fresh moves to reform Ireland’s cannabis laws a welcome ‘first step’
The Citizens' Assembly was established earlier this year to help make recommendations on the country’s drug policy. 

Over 400 submissions have already been made to Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs. Here’s everything you need to know to make yours.

The chair of Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly on Drug Use, Paul Reid, has once again called on members of the public, community and stakeholders to make their submissions ahead of the deadline at the end of June. 

Halfway through the two-month window during which submissions can be made by members of the public, Mr Reid said in a press release that over 400 submissions have been received so far, all of which will be put to the members of the Assembly. 

The Citizens’ Assembly was established earlier this year to help make recommendations on the country’s drug policy. 

Led by Mr Reid, it is made up of 99 members of the public who, following a series of meetings in which they will hear from a range of experts, will be required to submit recommendation(s) to the Houses of the Oireachtas by the end of 2023. 

Citizens’ Assemblies have previously held significant weight in enabling constitutional change in Ireland on a number of key issues, including marriage equality and the repeal of the 8th Amendment.

Two formal meetings have been held so far, focusing on the personal experience on drug use and its impact on individuals, families, emergency services, and communities. 

Following the second meeting, experts told Cannabis Health they believe that the decriminalisation of personal drug use is likely to be a key recommendation of the Assembly at the end of the process. 

Speaking about the submissions process, Mr Reid said: “There has already been significant interest in the work of this Assembly reflected through the over 400 submissions received to date. It is clear that many people have strong views on what should, or should not, be done to address the important issue of drug use. I would like to remind anyone interested in making a submission that the closing date of the 30 June is fast approaching.”

Who can make a submission?

Submissions are invited from any stakeholders, organisations or individual members of the public who wish to engage with the Assembly and help shape the future of drug policy in Ireland. 

How to make a submission

Submissions can be made in written or video format here

Click on the ‘make a submission’ tab and work through the online questions. There is an option at the end to upload a pre-prepared document or video or fill in an online form to make your submission.

As anonymised submissions will not be accepted, you will need to include your full name to appear alongside your submission. If you wish for your name not to be published, you can request a redaction as part of your submission.

Only submissions received through the online submission form below will be considered as part of the public consultation process.

Any submissions that include offensive or inappropriate content will be deemed invalid.  

The process is open for a total of eight weeks and will close on Friday 30 June, 2023.

What should your submission include?

According to guidance set out by the Citizens’ Assembly, submissions should be based on your opinion, informed by evidence and/or by your own experience, on any issue that falls under the Terms of Reference of the Assembly.

Some things you should consider include (but are not limited to):

  • What are the harmful impacts of drug use on individuals, families, communities, and wider society?
  • What could the State do to significantly reduce the harmful impacts of illicit drugs on individuals, families, communities and wider society?
  • What works, and what doesn’t work, in terms of current legislation, policy and service delivery?
  • What should be done to reduce supply, demand, and harm?
  • What should be done to increase resilience, health, and well-being?
  • Any other comments?

What happens next?

All accepted submissions will be shared with the 99 members during the Assembly process.

The next meeting of the Assembly will take place from 24-25 June and will focus on how the health and community sectors manage and deal with the issue of drug use.

All meetings can be live-streamed via YouTube

Home » Advocacy » Hundreds submit evidence to Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs – here’s how to make yours

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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