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)


The fight to legalize cannabis nationwide should begin by helping veterans get access to medical marijuana, according to Massachusetts Representative - and 2020 presidential candidate - Seth Moulton (D). Right now, vets can't use medical marijuana without the risk of losing their Veteran's Affairs benefits, even if they live in a state that has legalized medicinal cannabis. In fact, so much as mentioning cannabis use to their doctor is enough for a vet to get their benefits stripped.

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