The junior minister Halligan for education has suggested that the opening of HSE-run drug shops should be considered and that the use of drugs should be decriminalised.
Independent TD John Halligan has also said that prostitution should be regulated and that ministerial wages, including his own, should be reduced further.
Mr Halligan, in a very personal interview for the latest edition of Hot Press, also said that he had a healthy sex life with his partner and that God did not exist.
But the junior education minister’s comments about the use of drugs could fuel debate and pile pressure on his Fine Gael ministerial colleagues to address his calls.
“I think they [drugs] should be regulated,” the Waterford TD said. ““I think it should be decriminalised. I don’t think people that are caught smoking a bit of hash should be brought to court —absolutely not. And heroin addiction is a cruel addiction for people. They need help and not to be brought into court for using it. I’d fecking definitely bring the drug pushers to court, but not the people that use it.”
He favours the Portuguese model, which allows for the legal use of drugs.
Specific areas run by the HSE where drugs could be sold or used should be examined, he suggested.
“What would the effects be if you were to have an area where you might be able to buy a small amount of cannabis, once a week or something, for people who smoke cannabis?” he asked.
“Would that be better than buying it off a drug pusher? Would we not take the drug pushers out of the equation if there were particular government shops set up by the HSE, or whoever, where you could buy some legalised drugs? We should have a look at that and see is that a way forward