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There's going to be a great big march for cannabis today in Dublin

IT’S A THORNY issue in Irish society (and almost all others too), but today will see a march in Dublin for the side of the argument that want to see reform of Ireland’s cannabis laws.

The Global Cannabis March, which is expected to attract in excess of 2,000 people, is being organised by NORML (National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) Ireland and will march on Dáil Eireann later today.

Ciarán Maher, director at NORML, spoke to about the march, and about what he thinks the future is for cannabis in this country.


“Basically we’re calling on the government to regulate cannabis,” says Maher.


1100 cannabis plants and gun seized in Tipperary

GardaÍ have seized about 1,100 cannabis plants and a gun following searches at two properties in Tipperary.

During the searches, a cannabis grow house was discovered at one premises, while the second contained a drying house. The houses are located at Boytonrath, Boreen, Kileenasteena, New Inn, Co Tipperary.

Gadaí said the plants are of “various maturities”. They also found a quantity of cannabis herb and a single barrel shotgun.

In total the cannabis seized has an estimated street value of €700,000 – subject to analysis.

Three men, one in his 40s and two in their 50s, have been arrested and are being detained at Tipperary and Cahir Garda Stations under Section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act.


Cannabis social clubs could work in Northern Ireland says Cista man

A former soldier living in Coleraine is calling for a Royal Commission to be set up to investigate the relaxation of the laws on cannabis.

Neil Paine (45), a member of the new party called Cista (Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol), is standing in East Londonderry where he hopes to unseat Gregory Campbell of the DUP.

He passionately believes that “total reform of cannabis legislation is long overdue” and says local homes will soon be receiving party literature outlining their controversial policies.

Mr Paine, who uses cannabis for medical reasons, has twice been raided by police in the past but he said they did not charge him.

Born with a mild form of spina bifida his spinal problems worstened as he got older.


Cannabis trio have a point but should lay off the booze

The Cannabis is Safer Than Alcohol party deserves credit for exposing the hypocrisy of the so-called 'War on Drugs'. However, it shouldn't do so by demonising drink, argues Henry McDonald.

There is a lot to be said in favour of Northern Ireland's latest party to enter the general election contest - Cannabis is Safer Than Alcohol (CSTA). The three candidates - standing in West Tyrone, East Londonderry and North Down - will do local public discourse a massive favour by highlighting the absurdity of the so-called "War on Drugs" and the monumentally stupid policy of prohibition of all narcotics.


Ireland to examine possibility of decriminalising cannabis

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin is to examine the possible decriminalisation of cannabis in his new role as Minister of State with Responsibility for the Drug Strategy.

The Labour TD’s new position was confirmed in the Dáil on Thursday by Tanaiste Joan Burton.

He said his first task will be to examine the National Drugs Strategy which expires next year.

Mr Ó Ríordáin said he is willing to examine to the potential relaxation of the laws.

He said: “I believe someone who has an addiction issue should be dealt with through the health system and not the criminal justice system.


Northern Ireland: Synthetic cannabinoids users hospitalised

The Public Health Agency has moved to warn users of the risks after receiving reports of cases where people have suffered symptoms including anxiety, breathing difficulties and loss of consciousness.

Some people have reported experiencing hallucinations which have prompted them to try to harm themselves or others.

Synthetic cannabinoids use a substance called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC to mimic the effects of cannabis, but some can produce effects more like those of psychedelic or dissociative drugs.

“People may experience acute mental and physical health problems when using synthetic cannabinoids as they have assumed that the dose to be taken is similar to that of cannabis,” Owen O’Neill, from the PHA, said.


Northern Ireland: Cannabis party launches manifesto

Vulnerable people are missing out on medical treatment due to governmental refusal to treat cannabis the same way as alcohol, a newcomer to election campaigning has claimed.

The Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol party (Cista) is calling for a Royal Commission to review current UK drug laws.

Its goal is to achieve the decriminalisation of cannabis and the establishment of a regulated industry for its supply.

The party, which was founded earlier this year by Paul Birch, the co-founder of social networking site Bebo, launched its Northern Ireland manifesto in Belfast tonight.

It is fielding 32 candidates in the UK.


Medical marvel: the uses of cannabis continue to grow

Spare a thought for Bert Trautmann, a goalkeeper who suffered two cracked vertebrae in his neck while playing for Manchester City in the 1956 FA Cup final. “He played on for the last 15 minutes and made saves that won them the game,” says Prof David Finn. No subs were allowed back then.


Woman held in skunk cannabis probe

Large amounts of cash have been seized as part of the police probe into the supply of skunk cannabis.

She was detained in the Birmingham area after organised crime officers searched a number of properties and has been brought to Northern Ireland for questioning.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Detective Inspector Andy Dunlop, who is leading the investigation, said: "I believe this is a significant arrest and this investigation is making substantial progress."

More than £2 million of cannabis and large amounts of cash have been seized as part of the police probe.

Thirteen people have been arrested, eight of whom have been charged.

The PSNI has been working alongside Italian police and the National Crime Agency.


High time for cannabis cures in Ireland

Medicinal cannabis has become a fast-growing multi-­billion dollar global industry. But Irish people with MS and other conditions are still in a legal limbo, left to buy the drug on the street.

Six months after Marie Fleming passed away after a long battle with multiple sclerosis, her partner Tom Curran revealed she had been smoking cannabis to help ease her pain.

After Fleming died in December 2013, shortly after losing a landmark case against the State to lift the ban on assisted suicide, Curran said he had grown cannabis for his partner.


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