Mon, May 31, 2021
Read in 3 minutes
Neasa outlines the Green Party's position on cannabis.
Transcript: Hi! In the last few weeks I have received quite a few emails about cannabis and cannabis use and I wanted to take a minute to set out the Green Party position on cannabis use and what we secured in the Programme for Government and what we might see in the next few months.
The Green Party position on non-medical cannabis is as follows: Cannabis use remains widespread despite law enforcement effort and it places a considerable strain on the criminal justice system. It’s an illegal product and therefore there is no quality control for cannabis. This presents a potential public health risk because we do not know about cannabinoid levels or contaminants are in the products people are buying. Currently it is not possible to gather any reliable data on the health impact of cannabis itself in Ireland because it remains illegal. We believe that Cannabis is actually a health not a criminal matter and regulating consumption and cultivation of Cannabis would be a far more effective means of disrupting the criminal supply chain, minimising the health risks, and monitoring the impact of cannabis use.
So, our policy is this:
Access to medical cannabis is really a separate issue and features in the Programme for Government in separate bullet-points. In the Programme for Government we were able to secure a commitment to convene a Citizens’ Assembly to consider matters relating to drug use, which would include Cannabis. The Citizens’ Assembly’s work schedule was somewhat delayed by COVID and the Taoiseach’s Department is working out a timetable for upcoming Assemblies on a number of topics including drugs, and obviously for use the drugs Citizens’ Assembly would be a huge priority that we hope to see very, very soon.
I know there are lots of people who are dissatisfied with the speed of progress on this. I would be one of them and I would have preferred more direct action from the Departments of Justice and Health – one that is based on evidence and best practice and what is good for everybody, but I recognise that a Citizens’ Assembly is a viable route for legislative reform and a way of bringing the community with us. If you want to take action let the Ministers in the Department of Health know that you would like to see the Citizens’ Assembly on drugs progressed. Let the Department of An Taoiseach know that you think it is important, that we would like that Citizens’ Assembly now.