Ireland Considers Cannabis Legalization
The green hills synonymous will the Irish countryside may soon take on new meaning as a lawmaker has presented a bill that proposes to legalize cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use. The Cannabis Regulation Bill 2013, introduced by independent politician Luke Ming Flanagan, will be presented to the lower house of the Irish parliament next month.
Under the umbrella of a Cannabis Regulation Authority the bill strives to regulate the cultivation and sale of cannabis those over 18 as well as establish rules for licensing, labeling and advertising.
Those who obtain site-specific government licenses would be allowed to engage in growing cannabis in home, commercial, “coffee shops” and non-profit social club environments. In terms of home use, license holders would be permitted to grow six plants and possess up to one ounce without facing penalty. Wholesale licensees will be able to sell more than an ounce of cannabis to those with retail, medical and coffee shop licensing.
The bill boasts strict labeling requirements, prohibits additives in cultivation and bans cannabis infused with substances such as alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. In addition, only Irish residents and members of the European Union would be able to purchase cannabis or cannabis-infused products.
“If cannabis is legalized, we can make a shopping list out of the amount of money which legalizing cannabis will save this country,” Flanagan told the Irish Times. “This bill will protect our youth from unscrupulous dealers; 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 such as having to go into treatment.”
The bill will go before Ireland’s lower parliamentary house on Nov. 4 and 5 and, if passed, will move on to seek the approval of the nation’s upper house and president.