Sunday 17 December 2017

Henry McDonald: It's time to take pragmatic view on unwinnable war on drugs

When it comes to the daily sightings of the capital's army of the living dead, and apologies to that mawkish Cockney ditty, maybe it's because I'm a northerner and I live in Dublin town. Because even though I have lived in this city in different time bursts over the last 30 years, there is still one phenomenon that you never ever get used down south: the physical evidence of the abject failure of drugs prohibition policy.

On the pavements, in dank alleyways and on the boardwalk along the river from O'Connell Bridge to Liberty Hall you will inevitably come across the zombified ranks of the heroin hooked as common nowadays and near permanent fixtures as the 'Tart with the Cart' and the 'Dick with the Stick'.

They are the city's heroin addicts who congregate together, hanging out in the tourism and commercial centre, either to avail of the methodone clinics located on either side of the river; or to score their next fix.

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