This will make more grim reading for our Irish members, not so much for the minimum sentencing, but for some of Fuhrer McTools comments later in the piece.....SWIS can honestly say that he's not felt this strongly about a politician since the days of Thatcher when SWIS was resident in the UK. This was taken from the National Documentation Centre on Drug Use website (http://www.ndc.hrb.ie/) :
Minister urges judges to implement minimum-sentencing law on drug offences
(Source:'McDowell urges judges to reflect on drug terms': Irish Times p. 8, 25 May 2006)
Speaking in the Dáil last night, Minister for Justice Michael McDowell appealed to the judiciary ‘on behalf of the members of this House …to reflect upon the law which this House made’ in relation to minimum jail sentences for drug offences.
The Minister continued: ‘We appeal to the judiciary to reflect on this: it is laid down in the law of our land that only in exceptional and specific circumstances should the possession of drugs in large amounts not be visited by a 10-year sentence.’ He said that it was not acceptable that people found with drugs worth well over €1 million should be given short sentences of three to six years. He pointed out that 79 per cent of sentences under the relevant section were less than the 10-year minimum.
Arguing that the belief that recreational use of drugs was a private matter was a big part of the problem, Mr McDowell said: ‘Anybody who in public argues that it is somehow acceptable to consume prohibited drugs, and to be in possession of them in small quantities, is suffering not simply from moral confusion but a complete absence of a critical facility of any kind.’
He said that any argument for legalisation of drugs ‘ignores the reality that we are obliged by European law to criminalize the possession of hard drugs – So it is a non-starter from the very beginning.’