Ireland To See ‘Steppingstone’ Cannabis Reform Measure Introduced

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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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