Nearly three-quarters of Irish adults believe cannabis should be made available for medical purposes.
Earlier this week, the Irish government published their most recent edition of 'Drug Use in Ireland and Northern Ireland,' which details the island's drug statistics. One of the report's key findings was that cannabis continues to be the most used illicit drug with over one quarter (26.4 percent) of Irish adults reporting they've consumed cannabis at least once in their lifetime.
And the majority of Irish want to change that by removing cannabis from the list of banned substances - at least for medical use. According to recent stats, support for the legalization of medical marijuana in Ireland has risen to 74.5 percent. These changing attitudes likely reflect the impact of testimonials from patients like Billy Caldwell - the young boy from Northern Ireland who uses medical cannabis to treat his rare form of epilepsy.
However, enthusiasm for marijuana reforms isn't as strong when it comes to recreational use. Only one-third (33.6 percent of respondents) believe adults should be able to consume cannabis as freely as they can drink alcohol.
Meanwhile, large numbers of Irish youths are at risk of developing opioid addiction. According to the report, nearly 20 percent of Irish adults have taken opioids within the last month. A trend that law makers are desperately trying to combat.
"I am aware that services on the ground are concerned about the rapid increase in numbers of young people taking benzodiazepines in combination with other substances," Ireland's Health Minister Catherine Bryne said in a statement.
Of course the solution could be right under their noses. Numerous recent studies have shown that cannabis can help people kick opioid addiction. So legalizing medical marijuana would not only win over voters also save countless lives on the Emerald Isle.