The recent trend in Ireland to legalise the production, possession and consumption of medicinal cannabis has received a lot of attention from the general public and media. But is this new legislation, which allows for the production, possession and distribution of limited quantities of marijuana, really legal? Is it therefore illegal? And if so, how does this impact on Ireland’s image as a tourist country? These are questions that have been asked time and again but have yet to be answered satisfactorily.
The first question in regards to Irish drug laws is “Is this new legislation legal?”. The answer to this is that it is likely to be seen as legal. This is because the government introduced the legislation in response to recommendations by the Haddie Joint Committee, which are responsible for the formulation of drug policies. The committee is also responsible for the regulation of alcohol. While it is not likely that the panel intended that its recommendation on cannabis would become law, the implementation process was followed.
The second question in regards to Irish marijuana legalisation is “Is it dangerous?”. It is clear from the Haddie report that many see the cannabis industry as being less harmful than alcohol. However, there is still considerable controversy surrounding the link between cannabis and schizophrenia. It is highly unlikely that either substance would cause the type of side effects associated with schizophrenia. For the record, those who are prescribed cannabis do not necessarily suffer from the disease. Those who consume the cannabis plant do face a number of challenges, including reduced perception of time and impaired memory.
medicinal cannabis – Law Reform and Legalization in Ireland
When it comes to the manufacture of cannabis, the government does not regulate this industry. Production is therefore largely left to the individual producer. However, in 2021 the Criminal Records Bureau notified the Garda S gardai that it was classifying cannabis as one of the most common forms of drugs. This means that cultivation and production are criminal activities. Production is only allowed to an extent that falls within the legislation surrounding production of other controlled drugs.
The third issue is the control and distribution of the cannabis industry. There is currently no system in place to allow the legalisation of commercial marijuana. Instead, the distribution of marijuana remains in the control of the drug dealer. Some countries have introduced regulated mail order systems, but the sale of cannabis remains illegal in most of the European Union (EU). The lack of regulation around the weed industry means that the control and distribution of the product remains below standards.
The lack of control over the production and distribution of cannabis has meant that many Irish marijuana users have been sent to prison for minor offences. There have been calls by groups of Irish citizens for the immediate cancellation of all laws associated with the cannabis industry. If this happens, the ability of the state to tax the plant will be lost. The Irish government has yet to respond to calls for a review of the legalisation of the plant. There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the regulation of the marijuana industry in Ireland.