[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.