In an interview with Stephen Donnelly with Hotpress in January 2017, the newly appointed minister for health was forthright with his opinions on the legalization of cannabis.
‘‘i’d like to find a way to decriminalize small quantities of weed. If a grown adult wants to grow a herb and then smoke it, and there are no negative consequences for other people, then they should be allowed to do that. However, any such approach would have to be done in the context of medical research showing that smoking weed as a minor can lead to longer-term mental health challenges. It would also need to be done mindful of ‘drug tourism’ – a la Amsterdam – which is not something we want here.’’
Ireland needs to have a mature discussion on the possibility that cannabis has great potential for medicinal, recreational and economic purposes. Lets take it out of the hands of criminals and stop the incrimination of ordinary citizens of this country. It is time to change how this plant is viewed and explore its potential and embrace the scientific evidence that is being discovered all over the world. With legislation come’s safe access.