Ireland's People Before Profit Party To Introduce Bill To Legalize Cannabis

People Before Profit, an Irish political party, will introduce a bill to decriminalize cannabis in the Dáil -the lower house of the Irish legislature, in July.

The use of recreational marijuana is still illegal in Ireland and 75% of drug-related arrests are for simple possession. According to the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1977 anyone found in possession of cannabis or cannabis products, is guilty of a crime.

In 2018, the Green Party called for the decriminalization of cannabis, saying that the current law has “made criminals out of decent people,” reported The Journal.ie.

Dublin Mid-West Assembly Delegate Gino Kenny told the media that it will be interesting to see where the Green Party lands on the issue as it has one of the most comprehensive drugs policies of any of the political parties.

“There is no more reason for cannabis to be illegal than alcohol,” Kenny said, noting that criminal records for cannabis offenses should be expunged.

In 2018, the Green Party called for the introduction of Dutch-style “coffee shops” to Ireland. “The creation of a coffee-shop culture in Ireland might be what’s needed to incentivize cannabis-takers to use the drug in a regulated environment," Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said.

However, in 2021, Ryan said the Green Party would likely not back a People Before Profit move to decriminalize cannabis as concerns remain for teens and adolescents.

Kenny is expecting to seek Sinn Féin’s stance on his Bill. 

Meanwhile, 90% of the population in Ireland favor medical cannabis.

A survey conducted by Red C in 2021 found that 90% of Ireland's population favors the idea of legalizing the plant for medicinal use while 40% say they're in favor of the legalization of recreational marijuana.

While there is a fair amount of uniformity among age groups that support medical cannabis, opinions vary when it comes to recreational use. 56% of people between 18 and 34 years old believe that the plant should be legalized for both medical and recreational use. But this figure drops to 21% in people over 55 years of age.

Likewise, the survey revealed that there is a disparity between urban and rural areas.

While 43% of people in urban areas are in favor of recreational marijuana, in rural areas the percentage drops to 29%.

Image Via El Planteo. 

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