TCDSU Council votes to reaffirm support for drug decriminalisation

The union’s position on the issue was up for renewal along with a number of other issues

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Council have voted to maintain their support for the decriminalisation of recreational drugs. 

The motion was passed by a unanimous vote and will keep TCDSU’s position in line with that of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), the national representative body for third level students. 

The motion allows the union to lobby for the decriminalisation of drugs. Speaking in favour of the motion, TCDSU President Laura Beston described it as a “very important issue”.

Emma Louise Rossiter, the union’s Community Liaison Officer, also spoke in favour of the motion, stating that decriminalization allows for testing facilities which enable people to actually gauge dosage levels. She also cited the case of Portugal, which she asserted since decriminalisation has seen “a reduction in the cases of HIV, and in drug related crime”. 

The position supporting decriminalisation, having first gained the support of the union in 2016, will now stand as union policy for a further two years. 

The union’s policy on drug decriminalisation was one of several policies that were set to expire and were renewed in a series of votes at this evening’s council meeting.

Council voted for motions to keep the part-time officer positions of Environmental Officer, Ethnic Minorities Officer, and access officer within the union structures, as well as the roles of Volunteer Forum Coordinator and an Installations Officer, to sit on the Ents committee.

Council also voted to renew their policy which mandates that the Ents officer hold events in accessible venues where possible and must include a list of accessible clubs in their crossover manual, which is passed on to the next person to hold their position. 

A motion to continue the policy that obliges that part-time positions in the SU shops and Front Office be filled by Trinity students was also passed by Council along with a motion to continue the practise of the communications and marketing officer to provide a livestream of Council meetings. These livestreams are posted to the TCDSU Facebook page.

Council also voted to maintain a policy that stated that the job of running polling stations should be offered first to members of the Electoral Commission, then to members of the Oversight Commission, Union Forum, School Convenors, and finally to the Class Reps. 

This evening’s meeting of the TCDSU Council was held in the Stanley Quek lecture theatre in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Building (TBSI).

Additional Reporting by Patrick Coyle 

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.