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How Ireland can benefit from the Legalisation of Cannabis in the United States

Today marks a momentous achievement in the global campaign for cannabis law-reform. In the United States, citizens of Colorado and Washington courageously voted to legalise the sale and possession of cannabis. They are the first to go beyond a medicalised system in the US, while Massachusetts becomes the 18th State to pass medical use today, as Colorado and Washington now recognise and respect the right to use cannabis recreationally. The proposition is in defiance of federal law, which sets the stage for a possible showdown with the Obama administration. However the victory is nonetheless a positive one for cannabis reformists.


America has proven that patience and dedication can result in legitimate change and legislative reform. Through relentless campaigning they have taken the debate for cannabis legalisation to the polling booth and have, subsequently, succeeded in enacting a law which no other American State has achieved. This exercise of democracy is awe-inspiring to the libertarian thinker.

As the world observes these two States implementing a law that respects the right to users and non-users of cannabis with similar regulation to alcohol, countries from around the globe will begin to question the efficacy of prohibition in their own countries. Ireland is no exception to this. Cannabis use stands at 6% of the Irish population and such high demand creates a lucrative market for criminal entrepreneurs. There is no legal regulatory framework for buyers or sellers of cannabis to work within, which places cannabis in the same illegal market as guns and hard drugs. This inevitably undermines all quality control and safety to consume cannabis, as well as opening up an avenue for violent gangs to operate under which dramatically increases the crime rate.

With the population of 4.8 million people, in comparison to 6.8 million of Washington, we do not face the same challenge to bring about reform. With TD Luke Flanagan set to submit a cannabis legalisation bill in early 2013, and the department of Health beginning to recognise the medicinal benefits of cannabis; we are much closer to change than one might expect. Irish citizens should view the success in the United States as a way to educate our own population and act as a domino effect to law-reform here, drawing a paradigm shift closer.

There has never been a better time to get involved with the drug law-reform campaign, and UCC Drug Awareness & Reform offer the platform for citizens and youth to have their concerns heard. Please consider joining our mailing list and donate any way you can to cause in Ireland.

Graham de Barra
DAR Auditor


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One Response to How Ireland can benefit from the Legalisation of Cannabis in the United States

  1. anthony mulligan November 8, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    i agree totally

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