Ireland might be getting greener–but just a bit. The country has begun talks of legalizing cannabis in Ireland following the introduction of a personal-use bill that would modify the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Introduced by Gino Kenny, a lawmaker referred to as Teachta Dála (TD) of the People Before Profit political party, the bill would legalize the possession of up to seven grams of cannabis and 2.5 grams of resin. It does not introduce a framework for sales and purchases, leaving Irelanders to do business in the illegal market.
“The bill is quite moderate. It amends existing legislation that dates back forty-two years. Forty-two years is a very long time. I believe the existing legislation is out of date and out of time. We need a different narrative around drug reform,” said TD Kenny during a recent debate in the lower house of the Irish Parliament.
London-based advocacy group Volteface reported that garnering Government support would be a challenge given the country’s current coalition between the Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and the Green party are not favorable toward cannabis.
The efforts to legalize cannabis in Ireland differ from other EU countries that have taken the plunge. Malta, for example, does not allow commercial cannabis businesses, but adults can grow a limited number of plants and distribute the goods through cannabis associations. And though Spain hasn’t officially legalized it, citizens can grow and smoke weed, as well as purchase it through a legal loophole at cannabis clubs.
We’ll keep a close eye on Ireland’s tip-toe toward cannabis legalization.