Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has indicated that Ireland will be investigating the legalization of marijuana, stating:
"We're conscious that Portugal has done it and has had some success in moving it from a criminal justice matter to a health and addiction issue and I'm very conscious that cannabis has been decriminalized in every state on the west coast of the United States...Colorado, most recently Canada and the sky hasn't [fallen] in, so it's something that's under consideration".
An expert group is said to be examining the systems in jurisdictions which currently have cannabis decriminalized for recreational use.
Has Canada Started a Trend?
There's no doubt that Canada has spurred on this discussion in Ireland, as only last week the country passed its much-anticipated C-45 bill. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that cannabis will become legal from October 2018.
Last April, Ireland's Green Party had already announced a new policy position to make weed legal in the emerald isle and before that in November 2017, the Minister for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, announced it was to look into alternative approaches to the possession of drugs for personal use. Whether these "looks" will fruition into actual effect, remains to be seen.
Is it a Good Idea?
The idea of legalizing cannabis in Ireland seems to sit well with many of the locals and across the country, people have started speaking out in favor of the drug. Portugal is an example of the positive outcome of such a move; deaths from overdoses along with drug-related crime rates have fallen dramatically since the country legalized narcotics. While Portugal legalized all drugs, it was a move that proved effective, prompting questions like; why wouldn't a country make Cannabis legal?
Long has the debate been on the positives of marijuana for medicinal and relaxation purposes. And it is not a class A drug, so why are we so scared to legalize it? Ireland is a progressive nation and has only recently changed its controversial abortion law.
Cannabis legalization may be the next step towards an even greener Ireland. #itsnotcalledtheemeraldislefornothing.