Gay Byrne calls for legalisation

By podge · Feb 26, 2007 · ·
  1. podge
    [FONT=Arial, Verdana, Arial] Legalise drugs, says Gay Byrne[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]Front page of Irelands Sunday Independent :

    GAY BYRNE yesterday called for a fresh debate on the use of drugs in Irish society and urged the authorities to examine the possibility of legalising their sale.
    He also suggested that the drugs already confiscated by gardai could be sold to countries where their use is legal.
    The veteran broadcaster and chairman of the Road Safety Authority told the Sunday Independent: "This is a mighty chasm for me to leap, but I've come to the conclusion that the possibility of legalising drugs should be looked at."
    He said garda chiefs admitted that only about an estimated 10 per cent of drugs coming into Ireland were being seized - and yet millions of euro were being spent, both in the battle against drugs, and in providing resources for the drugs squad.
    "Dead bodies are being found every day of the week. All I am saying is maybe there is another way of doing it.
    "Do you keep on trying to solve a problem that has been with us for 40 years, or should we be looking at legalising the bloody thing?
    "You do not find people killing each other over a packet of cigarettes or a can of Heineken," he added. "How long do you keep on repairing a car that is not working before you say maybe there is another way of doing this?"
    Mr Byrne said he did not believe his views on the subject were in conflict with his position as chairman of the RSA.
    "I have private opinions on this, just as I have opinions on U2 or jazz," he said.
    But last night, Noel Ahern, the minister of state responsible for drug strategy, responded to Mr Byrne's call.
    "I'm entirely opposed to legalising any drug. At different stages, different people have tried to make an argument for legalising drugs. But it's not a suggestion that can work.
    "Drugs are illegal, and that's the right way to have them. Any talk about liberalising drugs is irresponsible."

    This article was on the front page of Ireland sunday independent today. For anybody out there wondering who Gabriel Byrne is....... Gay Byrne is one of the most famous and trusted people amoung the irish nation. He hosted RTE's The Late Late Show ( irelands number one television show ) for years and years and he is a household name in ireland. Gay Byrne is is just the person needed to talk some common sense into those who usually would not listen....he is trusted and highly influential and he's just one of those people who is out to try make the world a better and who isnt fixated on money and power. This article bodes well for ireland swim thinks.


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  1. Nature Boy
    Gay Byrne is highly respected by many types of people who simply follow the government's line when it comes to drug control. It's a great thing that's he's spreading this message. People will listen to him and may have to re-think their stance on the issue.
  2. Riconoen {UGC}
    Sorry for being juvenile but I can't resist. What kind of name is Gay Byrne?
  3. Alicia
    what kind of name is Riconoen UGC. oh i see simple one, it had the name Gay. Did u know gay also means merry?
  4. Riconoen {UGC}
    Yes I knew that. I'm not a complete idiot you know.
  5. Alicia
    well i dont know, its all about education or the lack off.. deep breath
  6. MrG
    That's right kids, so no talking about drugs cos they'll make that illegal next too.
  7. Abrad
    Fasntastic news, Gay Byrne is respected amongst many of the older generation in this country.
  8. Paracelsus
    It seems that in the last time more and more personalities talk favorably (sp) about legalizing drugs. Many people, including even law enforcement agents (LEAP) are starting to think open-minded about the subject.

    If the guy is very popular in Ireland, this might change soon. His political enemies will eat him alive...but let's hope for the best.
  9. Lunar Loops
    Welcome as this news is, it is still sadly the opinion of one man (popular as he may be). He wasn't calling for all drugs to be legalised, but was calling for a debate on the issue.

    Unfortunately, Noel Ahern's response will be typical of (nearly) all Irish politicians across the board. Nobody in power, or indeed aspiring to power is going to go out on a limb on this one.

    The more people in the public eye who come out with statements like this the better, but don't go building any false hopes people.

    The moral crusader (don't you just know she'd be looking at outlawing sex that did not involve creating a family, if she got her way with all drugs) Gráinne Kenny has already been in the media with her response. The gist of what she was saying being as follows:

    "Most of the deaths and the carnage on our roads is being caused by drunk and drugged drivers. Drink is the most widely abused drug in this country as it is legal and look at all the damge it causes. So does Mr Byrne really want to make everything else legal so that those problem areas can escalate too?"

    The words may not be precise, but that is essentially what she was saying and sadly you can see the warped logic in there that will appeal to a lot more people in this country than Gaybo's speech.
  10. Lunar Loops
    This from
    Deputy mayor welcomes Byrne remarks

    Piaras Murphy
    The deputy lord mayor of Dublin has welcomed comments by former broadcaster and chairman of the Road Safety Authority Gay Byrne on the legalisation of drugs.
    Mr Byrne told the RTÉ Radio 1 Conversations with Eamon Dunphy programme that he was coming round to the view that illegal drugs should be legalised because attempts to deal with the problem through law enforcement had "demonstrably failed".
    Speaking today, Labour Cllr Aodhan O Riordain agreed with Mr Byrne that a new approach to drugs was needed.
    "Drugs are a continuing cancer which have a devastating effect on communities throughout my electoral area of the North Inner City, throughout Dublin and indeed throughout the country.
    "However it is becoming clear to me that we as a society need to start a new debate on the problem as we are clearly losing the war on drugs," said Mr O Riordain.
    But the international president of the Europe Against Drugs Network (Euraid), Gráinne Kenny, said she was "appalled" by Gay Bynre's comments and called for him to resign as chairman of the Road Safety Authority.
    Ms Kenny is also the chairwoman of the EU-wide Stupified Driving Committee, which is looking into the links between driving and both alcohol and drugs.
    "If he is to be in charge of road safety, he should be educated on drug use as well as alcohol use. If you are a cannabis smoker, your driving is affected, and that is a scientific fact," she said.
  11. Jimmeh
    I don't get what Gráinne Kenny's point is.... I don't think anyone for legalising drugs would be against a law banning driving while high....

    Anyone hear the Joe Duffy show just there? It was refreshingly balanced with the (small) majority of callers calling for the legalisation of drugs!

    Gay Byrne is a man I have infinite respect for. He brought up the topic of sex on The Late Late Show in the 60s when sex was taboo and contraception laws were in place. Now he's brought up the topic of drugs when drugs are taboo. Well done Gay.
  12. Nature Boy
    Time and time again SWIM is amazed at the logic of some prohibitionists. Take for a second that pot does impair one's driving skills, though this is highly debatable. Aren't people capable of making a moral decision about whether they should drive under the influence? If all drugs are legalised tomorrow, does everyone with access to a vehicle bong up some crack and go for a joyride? Linking motor accidents with non-alcoholic recreational drug use is completely irrelevant in this context.
  13. D.U.M.B
    SWIM thinks it's great that someone like Gay Byrne would come out and say what he has. He has probably started what will become a topic of discussion for all people in all walks of life here in Ireland.

    SWIM listened to the Joe Duffy show and he was shocked by the amount of people who were pro-legalisation, SWIM had expected a lot more anti-legalisation people to give their view

    SWIM hopes the attention this story gets will lead to some sort of change in laws in ireland, or at least a debate of some sorts
  14. Lunar Loops
    SWIS does not think this is highly debatable at all. Anything that affects perception and the senses is obviously going to affect driving ability. Tests have been done that show this to be true. It may not affect driving in the same way, but it certainly affects it. SWIS would not advocate driving under the influence of ANY substance and if we are to be seen to be sensible in our approach, this is the only way to go. SWIY is right though that this decision should be up to the individual as it is with drinking.

    The grey area comes about when it comes to testing as THC stays in the bloodstream for so long (long after it's ability to impair driving has gone).

    Ming was on the Last Word last night, stating very similar views.
  15. Broshious
    Also in the grey area is the effect of being tired while driving. It's perfectly legal. When you start swerving and the cops pull you over then you might get in trouble which is just as it should be with drugs. When you commit a real crime then you get punished. This preventive crap makes me sick.
  16. Nature Boy
    Not debatable? The effects of cannabis are completely different from alcohol intoxication. Spacial relations and vision are not usually effected by its use. Although I agree, for political correctness' sake, that driving under the influence of cannabis (or anything for that matter) should not be advocated, SWIM honestly doesn't believe that being stoned effects many drivers' abilities in the slightest. I'd be a lot more worried about short-sighted grandmothers, hormone driven boyracers or pharamceuticalised soccer moms than a responsible pot smoker behind the wheel.
  17. Lunar Loops
    Agreed they are completely different from alcohol intoxification, but SWIY can not tell SWIS that motor skills and reaction time are not affected. Stating differently, and SWIS has heard the view expressed before that drivers are more careful when stoned, smacks of the "I drive better after a couple of pints" brigade.

    Agreed again that there are plenty of other road users to be worried about, but that is not really the point. Christ, half the drivers on the roads in this country have never passed a test in their lives.....but that's another story all together.
  18. Storming Heaven
    Gay Byrne is an established part of the establishment for him to do this is great self sacrifice and he is an intelligent enough man to know exactly what he was doing so you got to respect him for that. Now he is not big enough to change policy overnight unfortunately but it will give people an idea that perhaps there are other avenues to explore, also Pat Kenny is opposed to prohibition too and he is another well respected media guy in the same circle so there is something in the air. And perhaps the late late shows after parties were not as dull as one might expect!!
    The key to things now is to keep the debate going and that is up to everyone!!!!! So ring into the shows ring your TD's ring goverment departments dont let the wave die down.
  19. darawk
    There is a study published by the U.K. road safety authority that found that people who were intoxicated with cannabis drove slightly safer than those who weren't.
  20. Lunar Loops
    Not true. The study found that drivers who had consumed the drug tended to drive more slowly to try and compensate for their state......this does not necessarily equate to being safer. The same study also found that cannabis adversely affects a drivers' tracking ability (ability to steer a figure of eight, etc.....deviation from standard lateral position increased in both figure of eight and straight line driving).

    The results on factors like braking time were not considered statistically significant as they varied wildly for the cannabis users (different users reacting very differently to the drug).

    For hazard perception, reaction times were found to increase with higher doses of the drug, but again statistical significancy was not high due to the varying results.

    What the study actually found was that drivers under the influence of cannabis would be likely to drive better than those under the influence of alcohol.....this does not equate to driving under the influence of cannabis being OK.

    Bottom line is that nobody can realistically claim that smoking a J improves your driving, nor should anyone be advocating driving under the influence of anything.
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