The former HSE CEO Paul Reid has been appointed chairperson of a new Citizen’s Assembly on Drug Use for which there will be a first meeting in April.
The former head of the health service has been appointed as independent chairperson by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
He served as CEO of the health service during the pandemic, before stepping down last year after working through the covid-19 pandemic period in Ireland.
In the next week or so up to 20,000 households will be issued letters inviting someone from their house to apply to be part of the assembly.
The final 99 will be chosen based on their age profile, gender and location.
Mr. Reid outlined his delight at the new role being bestowed upon him:
“I am delighted to have been appointed by the Taoiseach as Chairperson of the Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use,” said Reid.
“The problems associated with drugs use in Ireland affect us all, directly or indirectly.
“Previous Assemblies have shown that members of the general public have an important contribution to make to tackling complex societal problems, and I expect that the Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use will be no different.
“A campaign to select members of the public to join the Citizens’ Assembly will begin this week. I look forward to working with my fellow members of the Citizens’ Assembly over the coming months.”
It comes as 70% of the population here would be in favour of some illegal drugs being made available for medicinal purposes.
There was broad support for the greater availability of currently illegal drugs for medicinal or therapeutic use. 14% of people would be opposed.
The poll was carried out by Red C for the Business Post.