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Drug offences

Drug Offences

Statistics show that approximately 1/3 people in Ireland have used an illegal drug at some stage in their lives. Drug use and whether it should be dealt with as a legal issue or a health issue has been a constant in the news for the last number of years in Ireland.

The Citizens Assembly on drug use released their recommendations in October 2023 which broadly point towards a comprehensive health led approach to drugs being. This may mean big changes in drugs law in the future but for now it is important that people are aware of the current laws in place as they are the ones that everyone is bound by.

The introduction of the adult caution for a first offence for personal possession of cannabis in 2020 has been a step forward but it is also important for people to know that there are currently mandatory ten year sentences for possession of certain amounts of drugs in Ireland.

The Misuse of Drugs act 1977 is the main law regulating controlled drugs in Ireland. The most common offences are:

  • Section 3 Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 – personal possession

  • Section 15 Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 – possession for the purpose of selling or otherwise

  • Section 15A Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 – possession for the purpose of selling or otherwise, value over £10,000 = €13,000

As mentioned above, the adult caution system has now extended to a person who has been arrested for the first time for a section 3 personal possession, A section 15 and section 15A charge are much more serious and will usually involve a person being detained.

As a section 15A charge carries a minimum mandatory 10 year sentence it is of the utmost importance that a person receives good advice when they are first interviewed.

W
Mc garry law

Paddy Mc Garry, Principal, Mc Garry Law

Areas Covered

Dublin

Tullamore

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