The worldwide push for cannabis legalization has found a foothold in Ireland, and the movement needs your help. On Nov. 5, a cannabis regulation bill will be presented to the Irish government, the Dáil Éireann, by Independent politician Luke “Ming” Flanagan. The bill will be debated by TDs (members of the Dáil) on November 5 and 6, and aims to completely reform Irish pot policy.
Flanagan’s bill calls on the Dáil to regulate cannabis for both recreational and medical use. If passed, it would allow for:
Home cultivation of up to six plants
Personal possession of up to one ounce of cannabis
Cannabis “social clubs” which would allow up to 50 members to cultivate up to 300 plants for not-for-profit use
A tax on legal cannabis to fund drug addiction services, medical research and juvenile education programs on drugs
A governing body to oversee the cultivation and sale of cannabis.
Flanagan estimates that cannabis legalization could generate as much as €300 million through tax revenues and redirecting resources, allowing Ireland to reverse recent budget cuts in the country, including cuts to the social welfare budget. He addressed the contentious issue of minors smoking cannabis, telling reporters, “This Bill will protect our youth... it will make it, in my opinion, more difficult for them to get it; and in the same way as if a minor uses alcohol, a minor who uses cannabis will also face similar sanctions.” Flanagan also unveiled NORML Ireland, a new chapter of the lobbying organization that will aim to educate the Irish public on the social, economic and health benefits of legalizing cannabis.
The roaring Celtic Tiger economy of the 1990s took a beating when Ireland fell into recession in 2008, with unemployment reaching 14 percent in 2011. The island nation’s agricultural richness would easily sustain a thriving network of cannabis production facilities, bringing thousands of jobs to the Irish workforce. Irish supporters of the bill hope to develop a nationwide commercial cannabis industry and research facilities.
To support Ireland’s bid for legalization, we here at HIGH TIMES ask you to sign the Petition For Ireland. The Emerald Isle may soon follow in the footsteps of global legalization leaders such as Uruguay, Colorado and Washington State.