Green Party have high hopes for cannabis law change

by Rachel Darcy
cannabis plant

The Green Party are calling for the legalisation of cannabis, saying that current laws on the drug are “making criminals out of decent people”.

The proposals put forward by the party calls for the decriminalisation of the drug for people over the age of 18, in possession of less than five grammes of cannabis.

As well as a call for decriminalisation, they are also calling for access to cannabis-based medicines – under a supervised system – for those that require it.

The party are also calling for an allowance for people to be allowed to grow up to two cannabis plants in their own home for personal use.

Under the proposals, they have also asked for the introduction of Dutch-style coffee shops, where cannabis use would be permitted under certain conditions; the amount of cannabis procured would be limited to five grams per day per customer, and any cannabis-infused food or drink would be prohibited.

At the launch of the proposed policy, Green Party representative Oliver Moran said the policy is primarily focused on “harm reduction”.

He said: “Our policy comes from an aspiration for harm reduction. The Dutch model, with regulated cultivation, is safer than what we have now.

“Many of the potential objections, such as addiction, teenage access, clarity on its medical impact and so on, are not addressed at all by the current system.”

However, there were mixed views by Dublin councillors on whether or not to decriminalise the drug.

Cllr Ruairi McGinley (Ind) told Dublin Gazette: “I am not in favour of decriminalising cannabis. This is a drug that has severe mental health effects and needs to be controlled. These effects are most evident in young people.”

Cllr Michael O’Brien (SP) said he supports the Green’s policy, adding “I support decriminalisation, as the current situation is a waste of Garda resources.”

Councillor for the United Left Pat Dunne told Dublin Gazette that he believes the legalisation of cannabis would end the purchase of the drug from illegal dealers.

He said: “I support the decriminalisation of cannabis use, which would, by implication, mean that the sale of cannabis would also have to be regulated and legalised.

“By legalising cannabis it would mean that users would no longer have to buy from illegal drug dealers.”

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