Irish TD demands cannabis decriminalisation

The Irish Government is under pressure to liberalise laws on the possession of cannabis.

During Leaders’ Questions in the Dail Éireann, Gino Kenny TD pushed the Taoiseach to introduce a “regulatory system” for the illegal drug, claiming it would be better than users buying them illegally.

The People Before Profit-Solidarity TD authored the Misuse of Drugs (Cannabis Regulation) Bill 2022, which seeks to decriminalise cannabis for personal use. Senior doctors previously warned the Government against the proposals, highlighting “acute medical and mental health problems” caused by the drug.

‘Real concerns’

Taoiseach Simon Harris acknowledged that there are “real health concerns around the use of cannabis”, and told Kenny that an Oireachtas Joint Committee will consider the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use (CAD).

If implemented, all drugs, including cannabis, will be decriminalised for personal use.

The Joint Committee is due to issue a response by December, but it may issue an interim report before then.


Earlier this year, a Garda traffic officer said that driving under the influence of illegal drugs has become “a big problem” in the Republic of Ireland.

Sergeant Gavin Coleman told the Irish Mirror: “We’re catching an awful lot of people. It’s primarily cannabis and cocaine, cannabis is probably number one followed very quickly behind by cocaine.”

According to Garda figures, 3,130 people were arrested for drug driving in 2023. The penalty is a maximum fine of €5,000, up to six months in prison, and a minimum one-year driving disqualification.

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