A man recently pleaded guilty to the heinous crime of possessing 0.24 grams of cannabis worth €4. I initially thought it was a Waterford Whispers story. Unfortunately, it was not a joke. Our drug laws are the joke.
hen it comes to drug policy, Government prohibition has created the climate to enrich the cartels that control the Irish market.
These cannabis laws are clogging up the court and prison system with harmless people. Last December, it was reported that there was a backlog of 95,000 cases in the district courts. Garda resources are wasted chasing €4 worth of cannabis while serious crimes are at the back of the queue.
The Oireachtas should legalise cannabis. The Government would stand to gain significant tax revenue (Vat) by moving black market commerce into the pharmacies, while the backlog in the judicial system would be somewhat eased.
The choice is simple. Continue with the prohibition that finances gangland terrorism, or allow people to buy their cannabis in pharmacies where the product is regulated and taxed.
Eyrecourt, Co Galway
They describe themselves as woke but they’re really asleep
I believe that every woke person is going around sleepwalking. To a man and a woman, those that I’ve met retain the wisdom and pseudo-philosophy of the average card game of Snap.
If they say something suddenly and with loud conviction, they feel there is no argument to be had, because they’ve seen and heard a ‘progressive’ political figure say something that seemingly backs them up.
The rest of us have no chance coming up against these gurus of enlightenment. Perhaps we are best to remain quiet.
Bantry, Co Cork
Leaders in Ireland and UK don’t instil much confidence
The recent election of Edwin Poots to lead the DUP made me think of the near future, politically, on these islands.
London has the greatest bumbler ever to reside at number 10 (even if he lives in number 11). Scotland has a deluded first minister who seems to believe her country can exist alone.
Wales has Mark Drakeford, a little-known non-entity (even in Wales). And, of course, Northern Ireland has a dinosaur.
We, meanwhile, have a revolving-door policy backed by Greens.
When they all get together, as they surely must, what can possibly go wrong?
Truly, we live in interesting times.
Sadly, the spirit of Young Ireland is a distant memory
What has happened to the spirit of Young Ireland? It was from this movement that developments such as Crumlin and Drimnagh – and lesser developments in towns and cities throughout the rest of the country – were built.
I believe these projects were completed with public/private partnerships in the 1920s and 1930s.
Rosscarbery, Co Cork
We should be careful whose opinions we help publicise
Is it not surprising that people who advocate paying a ransom to criminals are given publicity in public media?
Sutton, Dublin 13
IT has been a bottomless pit of spending for far too long
The ransomware attack on the HSE means the general public will be bombarded with rubbish about cyber security.
I worked in telecommunications and IT for 30 years. The simple fact is that IT has become a bottomless pit for expenditure.
Claims by security experts should be analysed with great caution as increases in state spending mean more lucrative business for the cyber security sector.
A responsible organisation can take a number of basic steps to protect systems and datasets. However, full security is impossible. Software engineering sometimes resembles a cottage industry. A person writing code in India could take down a very expensive system in New York. This point should never be ignored.
A system like the HSE’s can probably be restored, but this takes time and loss of data can be a serious problem.
The internet was a major development in telecommunications technology, but negative side-effects do occur.
Organisations making extensive use of IT should always keep adequate back-up copies of all records to ensure proper restoration.
Brian Patrick McArdle
Newbridge, Co Kildare