Irish Senator says "fella in his Nike tracksuit" more likely to be criminalised for carrying weed than a "Trinity student" 1 year ago

Irish Senator says "fella in his Nike tracksuit" more likely to be criminalised for carrying weed than a "Trinity student"

“You're stopped and searched, stopped and searched, stopped and searched...”

Independent Senator Lynn Ruane has spoken about the double standards she believes exist around the issue of drug decriminalisation in Ireland.

Speaking to Ireland Unfiltered host Dion Fanning, Ruane talked about, "The amount of times I've read articles where a journalist would call a person who's experiencing addiction a 'zombie'. Literally, you're saying that that person's not human.

"'Void of consciousness' is the definition of a zombie. 'Void of consciousness' and 'non-human'. So if the media are going to be allowed to put that narrative out there that a person's experience and addiction is not human, of course that feeling out there towards addicts and that shame and stigma still exists if the media will get away with saying such things."

The Senator went on to highlight how a "fella in his Nike tracksuit" will be treated differently to a "Trinity student".

"When you look at drug decriminalisation, it's a class issue as well," Ruane said.

"I'm telling you now if you're walking into Trinity with a schoolbag on your back and looking like a Trinity student, and you've a bag of weed in your schoolbag, you're not going to get stopped.

"Yet if you're a young fella in his Nike tracksuit, you're stopped and searched, stopped and searched, stopped and searched, and you might also have the same amount of weed in your pocket, but you are more likely to be criminalised for that than somebody that's walking into Trinity College this morning with the same amount of weed in their pocket so it's an unequal law."

Ruane, a former President of the Trinity College Dublin Students' Union, also spoke about her years of "chaotic drug abuse" and her experience of being raped in a wide-ranging and honest interview which you can see below.

You can listen to the fourth episode of Ireland Unfiltered in its entirety by simply clicking here and you can use #IrelandUnfiltered to join the conversation on social.

Ireland Unfiltered will be available everywhere you get your podcasts and on YouTube every Tuesday.