FINE GAEL and Fianna Fáil blocked a proposal to legalise drugs in Ireland during government formation talks with the Green Party.
Green Party health spokesperson Ossian Smyth told reporters he raised the proposition of legalising drugs in the programme for the talks, but added: “Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil said no.”
Despite this, Mr. Smyth said an agreement was reached to expand cannabis use for palliative care.
He also said plans are in place to hold a citizens’ assembly on drugs.
The Green Party representative hit out at drug prohibition in Ireland, describing the current government policy as “stupid” and “counterproductive”.
However, he was hopeful that an assembly could help shift public opinion, having seen similar changes on other hot issues in recent years.
“I’m looking at citizens’ assemblies that have happened for same-sex marriage, and for abortion and I’ve seen that they managed to get public opinion around a rational proposition and I’m hoping the same will happen with the Citizens’ Assembly on drugs,” he said.
The revelations come as Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin backed plans for the formation of a new coalition government involving all three parties, telling party members it was “the best green deal in the history of Ireland.”
“You have my word that I will keep fighting for the social and environmental justice advances that together underpin the Green message and philosophy and the best place for us to do that now, I believe, is in Government.
“Being in government gives us the power to make the change our world and our country so badly needs but it is not without risks even though I firmly believe that these are risks worth taking.
“I’m acutely aware of the near obliteration our party suffered resulting after our last experience in government.
“We must learn from that experience to ensure that it is never repeated. If we decide to go in, we will push hard every single day for the delivery of the policies that have been agreed to in this document and we will be held to account by you as green party members and by the voters.”
She added: “Despite its shortcomings, if implemented, this deal will represent the best green deal struck in the history of our country.”
The speech came as part of a special convention held online to allow grassroots members to question elected officials about the programme for government that was agreed with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael this week.
The membership of all three parties must give the programme for government the sign of approval in postal votes in order for the coalition to be formed.
Postal votes are due to take place this week.
The Green Party’s membership represents biggest obstacle as internal rules mean two-thirds of the membership must be in favour.