Article by Blake Taylor, Merry Jane
In Ireland, People Before Profit’s Gino Kenny has proposed legislation to legalize cannabis. The bill is expected to pass through the Dáil, Ireland’s principal house and lower chamber, which also includes the President of Ireland.
His support has gained traction among Social Democrats, the Green Party, and his colleagues in the Anti-Austerity Alliance, and legislation is expected to be backed by a number of other prominent representatives in the country. There is wide support for the bill from about 90 Teachta Dála (TDs) in the lower house and the Emerald Isle is anticipating a positively green future.
Simon Harris, the Minister for Health, is expected to propose a similar amendment to the legislation. The public servant seems eager to pass laws in favor of cannabis but the political system in Ireland forces him to await word from the governing body of health known as the Health Products Regulatory Authority. According to the Irish Times, the governing body is “due to report back by the end of January.”
Luckily, the proponents of the measure have proposed the decision on the matter be postponed until the official report has concluded. The bill will be debated today and will include measures to allow patients to receive medical cannabis in a safe and legal manner.
The bill will also establish a cannabis regulatory authority that will be responsible for the sale and marketing and marijuana in the country. According to the Irish Times, “A Cannabis Research Institute, which would conduct or commission and publish cannabis-related research has also been proposed.”
The bill is expected to pass and will wind up in the Oireachtas health committee to be examined, and changes are naturally expected. Whether or not Ireland’s legislature will push for current governing bodies to oversee medical cannabis or not is still up in the air.