Social cannabis use reform is in many ways the next frontier for activism efforts around the globe. In many jurisdictions cannabis possession, cultivation, and distribution laws still need to be fixed to be sure.
However, in a growing number of jurisdictions social use reform is either being explored as part of larger reform efforts, or in places where cannabis is already legal for at least possession and use, social use reform is being sought to improve current public policies.
One country that is in need of a massive cannabis policy overhaul is Ireland. Cannabis is currently illegal for adult use in Ireland, and the nation’s medical cannabis program is very limited in size and scope compared to medical programs found in many other countries.
At least one lawmaker in Ireland is calling for reform beyond simple legalization. If Labour leader Ivana Bacik has their way, cannabis will be legally bought and sold at festivals in addition to other reform components. Per the Irish Examiner:
The licenced sale of cannabis at Electric Picnic and other music festivals should be permitted as part of a “rational” approach to drugs, Labour party leader Ivana Bacik has said.
Calling for a “harm reduction based policy” on drugs, Ms Bacik has said politicians need to accept the reality that cannabis is now widely consumed as a recreational drug.
“There’s a clear momentum internationally to adopt a more rational harm reduction based policy on drugs.
At this juncture in time, it’s very unlikely that Ivana Bacik’s calls for social use reform will be adopted. After all, the nation is having a hard enough time just reforming cannabis laws in such a way that it keeps cannabis consumers and patients out of Ireland’s criminal justice system.
Yet, Ivana Bacik’s recent comments have sparked a conversation in Ireland about what a comprehensive cannabis public policy would involve. The main rallying cry of cannabis advocates in Europe right now is to improve public health outcomes via regulated sales, and sales at festivals and other events definitely seem to fit within that strategy.