Irish Prime Minister Says Country is Examining Decriminalizing Marijuana

After Canada made huge news last week by officially legalizing marijuana, many are wondering what country will make cannabis headlines next. And the answer may be over in the Emerald Isle.

Ireland Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (essentially the Irish Prime Minister) says he's convened a group of experts to consider whether or not the country should decriminalize marijuana. Varadkar noted that several European countries have decriminalized not only marijuana but other drugs as well, and that states in America have legalized cannabis and nothing horrible has happened, and that it's time for Ireland to consider the same.

"We're conscious that Portugal has done it and has had some success in moving it from a criminal justice matter to a health and addiction issue," Varadkar said. "and I'm very conscious that cannabis has been decriminalized in every state on the west coast of the United States. Colorado, most recently Canada and the sky hasn't [fallen] in, so it's something that's under consideration."

It's not the first time Ireland's considered lowering penalties on marijuana. Last fall the country's Minister for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy created a task force to look into alternative approaches for dealing with people arrested for possession of illegal drugs. 

So we're already starting to see the spread of legalization in the wake of Canada's historic announcement.

(h/t RTE)


Few other entrepreneurs in the cannabis space have their hands in quite as many ventures as Lorne Gertner. Currently dubbed the "godfather of the Canadian cannabis industry," Gertner told Civilized, "If we could live through normalization, we could change the world." Hailing from the fashion industry, this Toronto native says he's on a mission to "make the world a better place through cannabis and design excellence." The only catch is, well, normalizing cannabis — and that's where Gertner's keen eye for style comes in. "In the old days, you were going to be different or you were going to be normal," said Thom Antonio, Gertner's friend, creative director, and collaborator of 35 years.

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