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Ireland: Relax laws on possession of drugs, urges Dáil committee

The Oireachtas Justice Committee is preparing to recommend the Government decriminalise the possession of small amounts of all drugs in a bid to alleviate pressure on garda resources and the courts from low level crime.

The committee - chaired by Fine Gael TD David Stanton - is expected to urge the Government to introduce drugs laws similar to those in Portugal. There possession of certain quantities of all illegal drugs - including cannabis, cocaine, and heroin - is no longer a crime.

It is still against the law to take and possess drugs in Portugal but offenders are treated similarly to motorists who breach traffic offences. Police have the power to prosecute but can also send drug users to special courts where criminal records are not handed down.


Revealed: The area of Northern Ireland where most people have signed a petition to legalise cannabis

Over 220,000 people around the UK have signed a petition calling on the government to legalise the drug


The rise of gourmet ganja

The change in US cannabis laws has led to a growing market in food laced with the drug. So who will be the Starbucks of hash?

Picture the scene: it's been a long day, you're feeling a little wired and have some time to kill. You drop into Dutchie's, a popular chain café, and place your order: "I'll have a skinny Morroccan and a gluten-free hash brownie, please." And you sit down among the business suits and chill...

If that scenario sounds a bit trippy, then think again. It seems that high times lie ahead, and there are signs that industry is ever more hungrily eyeing up the cannabis market in the wake of decriminalisation in the United States.


Brazen Irish drug dealers doing drug deals ONLINE as marijuana available on classified websites

Several people are using online classifieds websites to sell marijuana and gardai are aware of the increasing trend

Brazen Irish drug dealers are advertising their stashes for sale online.

A number of people are using websites such as Craiglist, an online classifieds website, to sell marijuana.

They are blatantly stating the type of weed, and its strength as well as prices online.

One advertisement reads: “Beautiful bud royal cheese. Message if interested. Meet in north Dublin.”

While relatively low level drug dealers are online, gardai are aware of the trend and it is starting to increase.


Ireland: Mum launches fundraising bid to get epileptic son to US for medical marijuana treatment - Irish Mirror Online

A mum is desperately trying to raise funds to bring her toddler son to the US to be given medical marijuana as he suffers from up to 20 seizures a day.

Yvonne Cahalane said the pioneering treatment may be 21-month-old Tristan’s best chance at life since he was diagnosed with rare Dravet Syndrome a year ago.

She added the severe form of epilepsy means her son must be monitored constantly and that everything in their house is padded.

Yvonne, from Dunmanway in Cork , told the Irish Mirror: “It’s horrible to watch him have seizures.

“In the moment you just get on with it or they could be fatal. They usually last around 15 minutes but if it goes on any longer then we do get scared.


Ireland: Plea for €35k for medical marijuana treatment

An Irish mother has launched an appeal to help her fund specialist medical marijuana treatment in the US for her baby who has a potentially life-threatening condition.

Yvonne Cahalane, from Dunmanway in West Cork, said she needs to raise €35,000 to fund the treatment for her 21-month-son, Tristan, who has a very rare form of epilepsy which triggers severe seizures.

“We missed out on a place on a medical trial in Carolina because he was too young,” Yvonne said.

“But a neurologist in a hospital in Colorado has agreed to take him on. We would like to be there early in the new year, and we are starting him on a new medication soon to stabilise him for travel. We hope that one year in the States will be enough.”


‘Unprecedented’ homeless crisis fuels Ireland’s drug problem

Homeless and drug addiction service, Merchants Quay Ireland has revealed just how prevalent the homeless crisis is and warned the situation is fuelling the country’s drug problem.

In its annual report, the service revealed they handed out 80,000 meals to the homeless last year; demand for its GP services increased by more than a quarter and it recorded over 24,000 needle exchanges under its intervention programme – 6% more than the year before.

Merchants Quay CEO, Tony Geoghegan said: “We are currently facing unprecedented levels of homelessness that are further exacerbated by, and contributing to, problem drug use.


Bringing It Home: Industrial Hemp and a Greener Future

More industrial hemp is exported to the U.S. than to any other country and American consumers are purchasing over $450 million in hemp products annually. BRINGING IT HOME explores the question of why a crop with so many widespread benefits cannot be farmed in the United States by illustrating its history, current industries and talking to both opponents and proponents of the industrial hemp farming legalization effort.


Irish Momentum On Cannabis Increases

It is not often that you get a billionaire, a minister of state and a priest at the same table discussing cannabis decriminalization, but then Ireland has its own, very particular way of doing things. The country has a cannabis culture that is buried deep below the surface. Alcohol is embraced with abandonment but cannabis production and sale is controlled by criminal gangs. This has not helped bring the subject to public attention, especially as a drugs turf war rages in some parts of the country. Last Friday evening, an event by CityWide Drugs Crisis Campaign was organized.


Richard Branson urges change of attitude on drugs

Minister favours expungement of past convictions and is ‘open-minded’ on pill testing

British businessman Richard Branson has said the decriminalisation of drugs in Ireland would lead to a sea change in public attitudes on a similar scale as that which followed the same sex-marriage referendum.

Mr Branson, speaking at an event organised by the Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign in Dublin at the weekend, said the abolition of criminal penalties for drugs offences would become a “non-issue” for the public once it takes place.


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