This on the back of Bertie categorically stating that there would be no change in policy towards legalisation in this country. Gaybo might as well of been pissing against the wind.
This from the National Documentation Centre :
Funding to Tackle Drugs Misuse Increased to €50m in 2007 Source: Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs 05 Mar 2007
Noel Ahern T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, has welcomed a further substantial increase in the funding of drugs initiatives provided for in the 2007 Revised Estimates for Public Services and Public Capital Programme.
“This 16% increase in funding (over €7 million) to tackle drug misuse in 2007 follows substantial increases in the previous two years. The allocation of €50m shows an increase of 87% on the corresponding figure for 2004,” he said.
The increased funding will facilitate:
* a doubling of the amount available for the roll-out of the action plans of the Regional Drugs Task Forces;
* the full implementation of the 67 approved projects under the Emerging Needs Fund in the Local Drugs Task Force areas; and
* continued funding of initiatives under the Young Peoples Facilities and Services Fund, as well as Local Drug Task Force projects at a high level.
The Minister continued, “The greatly increased amount of money being made available illustrates the importance that the Government places on tackling the drugs problem. In 2007 substantial progress is expected by the Regional Drugs Task Forces in implementing the plans that they have drawn up for their areas of operation. The extra funding will enable the Regional Drugs Task Forces to ensure that the drugs problem is being targeted comprehensively on a national basis. Meanwhile, Local Drugs Task Forces which are based in Dublin, Bray and Cork, will be able to address the most pressing issues arising in the evolving drugs situation through the Emerging Needs Fund.”
Minister Ahern pointed out that at this stage:
* over 440 projects are being supported in local communities through the Local Drugs Task Forces;
* over 470 facilities and services projects are being delivered through the Young Peoples Facilitates and Services Fund, including 188 youth and outreach workers and 22 sports development officers;
* in total nearly 650 people are employed in drug-related initiatives funded by his Department.
“Substantial progress is being made on the implementation of all aspects of the National Drugs Strategy and the increased funding will allow us to build on that. Areas of focus in 2007 will include cocaine, rehabilitation and support for the families of problem drug users.
“Of course, the €50m in the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs’ Vote is only part of an overall allocation of well over €200m provided by the Government across a number of Departments to tackle the drugs problem this year.” he concluded.