The Government may look to loosen its approach to minor drug offences, but the Health Minister says he is not in favour of decriminalising Cannabis.
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has indicated the Government may take the approach of viewing some drug offences as a health issue, rather than a criminal one.
But any such review of drug laws would be completely separate to laws governing the use of medicinal cannabis.
The minister confirmed a review would look at the utilisation of drug paraphernalia, and the associated penalties.
Dunne also confirmed he had asked the expert advisory committee on drugs to take a more "health-related focus" when it classified drugs.
His comments come after a joint study by John Hopkins University and international medical journal The Lancet, found a punitive approach may do more harm than good.
But Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has poured cold water on suggestions that changes might extend to the decriminalisation of cannabis.
"I think we've got too many drugs in society. Cannabis is very carcinogenic - I don't think it'd be a great thing to have more people smoking more cannabis," Coleman said.
Medicinal use was a "totally different" issue.
"We're following what's happening in terms of the international research, but there's a big difference between loose leaf cannabis and cannabis being available as an extract in a medicine under a proper clinical trial.
"So in the second category we're following the evidence to see what happens, but I'm not in favour of decriminalisation of dope for people just to smoke."
Answering questions from Green Party health spokesman Kevin Hague, Dunne said current laws may not be fit for purpose.
"Having attended UN convention meetings for a number of years now, it's been noticeable there's been a perceptible shift in international attitudes from what one could describe five our six years ago as a legalistic punitive approach to a much greater emphasis on public health issues being a driving force today."
A national drug policy, published by Dunne late last year, reflected the view that "the harm from illicit drug use is best addressed primarily through a health lens".
But that did not mean there was no role for law enforcement, it just should not be the primary approach, Dunne said.
Outside the house, Hague said the Greens would welcome cross-party work on evidence-based drug law reform.
"It is fantastic to hear that the Government is considering regulating drugs in terms of their potential for harm," Hague said.
"The evidence points to a complete failure on the war on drugs style approach. If we are looking to decrease harm and decrease supply, the evidence is that the war on drugs has failed.
"The Green Party is currently reviewing its own policy on drug law reform but has not reached a position on the decriminalisation of cannabis."