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Europe: Irish Labor Party Debates Cannabis Legalization, Defers Decision

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #511)
Consequences of Prohibition
Politics & Advocacy

The Irish Labor Party discussed whether to decriminalize or legalize cannabis at its annual convention last Friday, but deferred the matter to its National Executive for further discussion. Putting cannabis on the party agenda was the handiwork of party whip Emmet Stagg, who has long been a proponent of legalization.

Emmet Stagg
Ireland has some of the highest cannabis use rates in Europe, Stagg noted. He does not wish to encourage cannabis use, he said; only to regularize a drug that is readily available across the country. Leaving the weed illegal creates criminality and drives young people into the hands of drug dealers, he said.

"I'm advocating its control, standardization, legitimization and taxation. I am recognizing the fact it is freely available," Stagg said. "Everywhere you go it is available from criminals," he said.

But after contentious debate, the party voted to defer a decision on adopting legalization or decriminalization as part of the platform. By a narrow margin, and following the lead of former party leader Pat Rabbitte, delegates voted to refer the matter to the National Executive for further discussion. While Rabbitte urged caution at the conference, he did say that policymakers need to be thinking outside the box when it comes to cannabis.

Labor is the third largest political party in Ireland. It is currently in the opposition.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

Hello from Virginia,
What's wrong with cannabis or it's legalization ? I , personally would rather meet a person on marijuana than one on alcohol. This is not saying you should be driving under the influence of either, but stating the lesser of two "evils" so to speak.

Fri, 11/23/2007 - 2:35pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Virginia I don't know any young alcoholics,kids that have a drink first thing in the morning and last thing at night but I do know a raft of young potheads who are pissing their lives up the wall. Promising careers and opportunities, I used to think it was ok. three puffs and a giiggle, not so with the new stronger pot, it is insidious.. a real life ruiner.. so how many teenage alcoholics do u know!

Mon, 12/17/2007 - 1:27am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

i go to school. i am in 5th year and the out of the 77 students in my year 58 students drink regurally every weekend 20 would smoke weed every weekend and 15 would smoke tobacco daily.
i know people hooked on tobacco and people who have to drink at least once a week who go out and start fights and get the guards calld when they drink. These students are ranged from late 16 to 17 and they always get there drink ever since 2nd year lots have been arrested for there behaveiour and haven to be taken to hospital. 0 have ever been arrested for there behaveiour under the influance of weed or ever been hospitleisd bacause of it. but every week 20 students will have to hand ther money over to a drugdealers because the government will not leaglize this herb!
all in all potsmokers are not putting themselfs or anyone else into hospital or damaging propetry or disturbing the peace and none of them are wasteing there lifes away a lot of them are very inteligent and do apply them selfs. The governments law is driving us into the hands of drugdealers who put god knows what into what they are selling us and useing our money to buy god knows what. i ask who is putting who in danger with this current law?

Wed, 09/23/2009 - 12:04pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I find your comment to be brilliant, and I couldn't agree more. I hope more people from your generation will see eye to eye with you. Especially since you will all be in power sooner rather than later.

Sat, 11/14/2009 - 1:59pm Permalink
w33dsmoker (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

i am also 17 but i am in 6th year. it is a purely social thing with me and i agree weed should be legalized. with the money raised on taxes on the weed it would pull us out of this economic downturn.

Tue, 01/18/2011 - 8:00pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

As an Irish citizen, and a labour party voter (mainly) i am disappointed that the labour party has deferred a decision on cannabis decriminalisation. In ireland the vast majority of cannabis on sale is cheap, low grade "soap bar" hash. Enables racketeers maximise profits. You can't buy this type of hash in a Dutch coffee shop, its that bad. Legalisation and regulation of the mark will ahve a positive impact on the respitory health of Irish hash smokers.

Thu, 11/29/2007 - 11:18am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Hey im from illinois and i believe that pot should be legalized or the government should change 3 of my nearby towns are all pothead/crackhead communities because they shut down every recreational center and entertainment center because of older people selling drugs. Now the only thing in the 3 towns i a mcdonalds so kids are driven to drugs so they dont have any real choice in their lives.

Sun, 02/17/2008 - 4:16pm Permalink
legalise canna… (not verified)

I know the ups and downs of smoking cannabis, I have being researching cannabis for almost a year at this stage and what I'm about to say has nothing to do with my research, it's just common fact.
It will bring the irish economy to a much lower number of unemployment, e.g sales,healthcare,farming etc.
It would bring the country to its feet with the recession,via government taxes.
It would also increase and promote alot of tourism troughout the country.
It would open the eyes to the E.U about legalisation.
It would help terminate gang crime and drug lords
It would allow law enforcement to focus on heavier,more dangerous drugs as in heroine and cocaine.
It would make cannabis alot safer because i've seen myself drug dealers making themselvs a pretty penny by mixing heroine with cannabis creating addiction and alot of returning customers and i've also seen "soap bar" being hash with plastic and pvc glue and even human feces in some wich would make the hash heavier so it would be more expensive.I also have witnessed cannabis being sprayed with glass for the same reason as hash to make it weigh more so it would be more expensive.This would be known as "Sand Blasting" and the cannabis would be known as Contaminated (or) Grit weed.
I personally think that it's impossible to bring cannabis to an end illeagal or not.So what the government are doing is sitting back watching drug dealers take a profit that is rightfully the governments in my opinion.
The cons of smoking cannabis are increasing chance of scitzofrenia and also psychosis. I actualy know people that were in mental care with these mental issues BUT not only cannabis was used they also used various products of LSD, cocaine, etc. So i doubt it was cannabis alone that causes these issues. And with legalisation scientists would get the chance to try alter the formula terminating these mental issues and paranoia.
The pros on the otherhand, is more so altering mind if some one suffers from chronic pain, cancer , sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia, eating disorders, arthritis and also social issues as in: being nervous around others etc.
So thats my opinion on the Irish cannabis laws. Thanks for reading, well if you did read this.

Tue, 03/16/2010 - 11:35am Permalink

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