David McWilliams: It makes economic sense to legalise drugs

All sorts of Irish people take drugs, often a lot of drugs. Prohibition just makes things worse

May 10th, 2018: The use of medicinal forms of cannabis continues to be very restricted in Ireland in spite of moves to permit their use in limited circumstances. Video: Enda O'Dowd

The corner of Middle Abbey Street and Marlboro Street in the centre of Dublin is a heroin bazaar. Every day about 10am, almost in the shadow of our national theatre, dozens of addicts line up in a reasonably orderly queue and one dealer arrives with a plastic bag of wraps of heroin and a second dealer holds another plastic bag open for the cash.

This goes on in broad daylight. Once the deals are done, the addicts head off, usually up one of the lanes off O’Connell Street or down to the Liffey boardwalk to bang up. The street dealer heads off to get more gear from a bigger dealer higher up the chain.

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