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Tag: ireland

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Limited Legalization Measure Introduced In Ireland

People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny has formally filed an adult-use legalization measure that would legalize cannabis possession for people 18 years old or older in Ireland. The long-anticipated measure was introduced late last week, and if passed into law, would legalize the personal possession of up to seven grams of cannabis flower and 2.5 grams of concentrates. The bill would not legalize cannabis sales.

“I believe that if passed, this bill will provide a stepping stone to a more progressive drug policy in Ireland.” TD Gino Kenny stated on Twitter.

The legalization bill is now before the lower chamber of Ireland’s legislative body (the Dáil Éireann). It is not expected that the bill will advance this year, with TD Gino Kenny indicating at the time of the bill’s submission that he expects it to be debated in 2023.

This particular measure’s future is uncertain, as it faces an uphill battle to gain traction among Ireland’s lawmakers. One leading lawmaker has already come out fairly forcefully in opposition to the measure. Per excerpts from Independent:

The Taoiseach has warned against cannabis being “glamorised” after new proposals are due to be brought before the Oireachtas on legalising possession of up to 7g.

The former health minister said he would be in favour of a more healthcare-based approach to addiction and warned about the harms of cannabis.

“I think we have to be careful that we don’t glamorise cannabis either because there are real concerns within the health community and the medical community about what cannabis can do to young people.”

Currently, the Misuse of Drugs Acts in Ireland provides for a fine of €1,000 in the District Courts for first and second offenses involving personal possession. Larger fines can be handed down in some instances. If someone commits the offense of personal possession and it’s their third or greater offense of its type, the offender can be sentenced to up to one year in prison.

The Criminal Justice Act in Ireland mandates that courts must consider giving a community service penalty in place of a prison sentence, and that affects some cases. A poll from 2021 found that 93% of people in Ireland support medical cannabis legalization, yet only 40% support adult-use legalization.

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Ireland To See ‘Steppingstone’ Cannabis Reform Measure Introduced

A bill that would legalize the personal use of cannabis in Ireland was expected to be introduced last summer, however, that did not happen. People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny, who has long advocated for cannabis public policy reform in Ireland, is expected to finally introduce the measure in the coming days.

The Misuse of Drugs Acts is currently the binding law in Ireland, and it provides for a fine of €1,000 in the District Courts for first and second offenses involving personal cannabis possession. Larger fines can be handed down in some instances.

If someone commits the offense of personal possession and it’s their third or greater offense of its type, the offender can be sentenced to up to one year in prison, although, the Criminal Justice Act in Ireland mandates that courts must consider giving a community service penalty in place of a prison sentence, and that affects some cases.

The new measure is expected to be formally introduced next week, and is expected to largely be based on the principal of allowing people to consume cannabis in private and possess up to seven grams of cannabis flower. Per Independent:

People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny will set to introduce a bill in Leinster House next week which will be a steppingstone towards full regulation of cannabis.

The Dublin Mid-West TD hopes the bill will end the criminalisation of cannabis for personal use.

He told Independent.ie: “At the moment, cannabis cultivation and sale is largely controlled by the black market and criminal gangs.

It’s good news to hear that the legislation will be seen as a ‘steppingstone’ versus a ‘final solution.’ Being able to possess up to seven grams of cannabis without fear of prosecution is a great thing to be sure. However, until there are regulated sales permitted in Ireland, gangs and cartels will continue to control profits.

The chances of the limited bill passing is unclear at this time. Fortunately, cannabis reform is on the move at an ever-increasing pace outside of Ireland, including and especially in Europe. That will put pressure on lawmakers within Ireland. Will it be enough pressure to get this particular bill to the finish line? That’s anyone’s guess at this point, but it’s absolutely a situation worth monitoring closely.

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Limited Legalization Bill Expected To Be Introduced In Ireland

Cannabis is illegal for adult-use purposes in Ireland, although, there is a distinction in Ireland’s current law that provides for a different penalty path for personal possession versus selling unregulated cannabis, with personal possession often resulting in a fine versus jail time for selling unregulated cannabis.

The binding law, the Misuse of Drugs Acts, provides for a fine of €1,000 in the District Courts for first and second offenses involving personal possession. Larger fines can be handed down in some instances. If someone commits the offense of personal possession and it’s their third or greater offense of its type, the offender can be sentenced to up to one year in prison.

The Criminal Justice Act in Ireland mandates that courts must consider giving a community service penalty in place of a prison sentence, and that affects some cases. A bill is expected to be introduced in the near future in Ireland that would somewhat mimic the adult-use legalization legislation that was passed in Malta late last year. Per The Journal:

The Dublin Mid-West TD told The Journal it is a relatively short bill, and will amend the current legislation on possession of cannabis, which is the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The amendment doesn’t reference the cultivation of cannabis. It’s anticipated that if the bill is approved by the Dáil – which means it requires the approval of the government parties – then changes regarding cultivation of cannabis could be added at committee stage.

What is reportedly being proposed in Ireland involves allowing people to possess up to seven grams of cannabis. Malta has a similar provision involving the permitted possession of up to seven grams of cannabis when away from the person’s home, with a separate allowance of up to 50 grams within the person’s home. From that standpoint, what is reportedly being proposed in Ireland is different from Malta’s law.

Furthermore, whereas what is reportedly being proposed in Ireland does not involve home cultivation, adult households in Malta can cultivate up to four plants. With all of that being said, even limited legalization in Ireland would be better than what is currently in place. It’s unclear at this time what the chances are of a legalization measure passing in Ireland, although, it will be very interesting to watch the discussion unfold given what is going on elsewhere in Europe on the cannabis policy front.

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