Posted on

are cannabis seeds legal in ireland

Technically, weed has been banned in Ireland for slightly longer than in the United States. The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1934 antecedes the Marihuana Tax Act by three years.

In 2013, this sentencing regime was opposed by the Law Reform Commission, based on its presumptive view.

Footsteps of Cannabis in Ireland

Growers who want to produce hemp have to apply for a permit from the Department of Health and Children . The department approves the license only if you have planted cannabis far from public roads. All the seeds utilized should belong to weed strains that hold less than 0.2 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Irish producers are not mad about hemp, and only a few grow it these days. But, given the fact that the cannabis market proves to be beneficial, more breeders might think growing it in the near future.

Let’s see how cannabis came to Ireland!

Another small political party happened to announce an even more ambitious policy the weekend of Vera Twomey’s speech. The Green Party only holds two seats in the current parliament of 158 seats. They have been in government before, and could potentially be part of a coalition government after a future election. Part of their platform will be this document outlining their cannabis policy. Another coincidence with this announcement is that it happened the same weekend as the Australian Green Party announced their policy to legalize cannabis.

Reforming cannabis laws appears to be popular in Ireland. This is certainly true of medical cannabis, where even older and more conservative groups support it. While public attitudes are shifting, there could still be vocal opposition to any moves towards tolerating recreational cannabis. There’s decades of misinformation around cannabis, with people fearing its effects will be similar to alcohol. Ireland has huge problems with alcohol. As an Irish non-drinker, I know this is a harmful stereotype. It is also observable in Irish cities every weekend. What might be appealing is the potential for an alternative social scene in Ireland.

However, the legal distinction was that cannabis use would be subject to two strikes before the full penalty of drug use. Your first cannabis possession offence could face you with a fine of up to €1,270. Your second cannabis possession offence can fine up to €2,540. A third strike faces a potential Class C fine and/or up to a year in prison. Growing your own cannabis plants could also land you a huge fine and even up to 14 years in prison. That opportunity to end the criminalisation of cannabis users slipped away. Like many countries, Ireland has paid a heavy cost for the pig-headed persistence of the War on Drugs.

POTENTIAL CHANGE FOR RECREATIONAL CANNABIS?

This so-called “land of the green” has actually been quite strict against cannabis. But now, Ireland is reconsidering its attitude toward cannabis with several proposals to change the law. Here is an Irish writer’s report on the political factors at play.

Green Party leader and former government minister Eamon Ryan says jurisdictions that have introduced regulation of cannabis have seen positive outcomes. He says the current system is “feeding gangland culture” and that regulating cannabis would be best for overall harm reduction. The initial response to this new Green policy has been surprisingly positive. Self-selecting polls placed public support for their proposals at 76% on Newstalk and 91% on the Irish Independent.

In December 2016, an Irish Times/Ipsos poll placed public support for prescribed medicinal cannabis in Ireland as high as 81%. A Red C poll published a month earlier placed support levels even higher at 92%. The Irish public appears to be very sympathetic to the use of cannabis in a supervised medical context. It would seem like a no-brainer for the government to introduce this, especially with all of cannabis’ potential medical benefits. Yet the government is still progressing slowly and trepidatiously on the matter.

Ireland has traditionally been a socially conservative country. It also has a political system where the government always features one of two conservative political parties with almost identical policies. As recently as 2013, a bill from Luke “Ming” Flanagan TD to legalize cannabis was voted down in parliament by a crushing margin of 111 to 8. In that context, approval of recreational cannabis does not look likely. Then again, Flanagan has since been elected to the European Parliament. And Ireland now seems capable of more rapid social change than before.