Why Ireland should legalise cannabis in 2021

Be the pebble, make some ripples

Is weed (AKA marijuana or cannabis) legal in Ireland? In a word, no. Medical cannabis is becoming more widely accepted as having value for many patients, and access is slowly being relaxed. We’re still waiting for recreational cannabis legalisation. You can share your opinions on whether cannabis/weed/marijuana should be made legal in Ireland by taking our cannabis legalisation poll here. Meanwhile, here are our Top 5 reasons for the legalisation of cannabis in Ireland…

1. Cannabis legalisation is a global phenomenon, how about Ireland?

Canada became the first G7 nation to introduce complete, nationwide cannabis legalisation on 17 October, 2018. On top of numerous US states, notably California and Colorado, and Uruguay, full legalisation for recreational use is picking up momentum. It’s like the world is waking up to the fact that criminalising the taking of a mellow plant was just a dumb idea to begin with. Israel looks ready to bring in full legalisation. Most notably, the UN has de-scheduled cannabis from its list of illegal drugs in December 2020. The UN’s bold action has enabled every country to legalise when the time is right locally. Now, Mexico and New York state have announced legalization (March 2021).

So Ireland should immediately decriminalise all possession for personal use, on the road to full legalisation.

Update: This began to happen in 2019, with first offence possession being decriminalised. This is a small step in the right direction, as simple possession for personal use can still carry jail time in Ireland.


2. Alcohol is the big problem, people!

We know that alcoholism is a huge problem in Ireland, and in many other countries. It’s just been shown that the only healthy amount of alcohol to consume is zero. Now, we know that 1 in 20 deaths worldwide are directly attributable to alcohol. Total deaths from cannabis ever = ZERO. It’s interesting that a lot of the giant booze companies are buying into Canadian cannabis growers, and in a big way. The alcohol producers know that cannabis is a less harmful drug, and is the future.

Why can’t the Irish Government wake up to the fact that cannabis is less harmful to our health, and to society, than alcohol? And why does the Irish Parliament building have a bar in it, offering subsidised booze to our elected representatives during their working day?

3. Cannabis helps cure people of their opiate/opioid addiction

In the United States, where opioid addiction is a huge problem, early trials are showing that cannabis is an effective replacement for both synthetic (opioid) and natural (opiate) addiction. In Ireland, we give methadone to heroin users. Methadone is a synthetic opioid developed by the Nazis, with a horrendous range of risks and side effects.

Dublin is the opiate addiction capital of Europe and the city’s streets are ravaged by the walking dead. Let’s treat heroin addiction with joints, not Nazi chemicals, so that we have less street crime and better health outcomes.

4. Police can solve real crimes

It’s hilarious that Irish news reports commonly carry reports of cops busting shipments of a few kilos of cannabis ‘herb’ (i.e. grass) and shutting down grow rooms. These are easy busts. More alarmingly, cannabis is often intercepted in shipments that also include heroin and guns. Hashish is typically imported from countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan, along with heroin. So, by allowing an illicit market for these products, we are directly supporting the Taliban, al-Qaeda and Islamic State. The illegal drug trade in Ireland also enables gang warfare and casual, horrendous murders. Read our post about Ireland’s drug war slaughter here.

Licence the cultivation and sale of cannabis and keep the profits out of the pockets of terrorists and criminal gangs, who actually don’t give a damn about the buyer’s health or age. Also, Islamic terrorists flood Europe with cheap heroin to help destroy our societies. Take this power from them and let the cops solve some true crimes. Interestingly, the enlightened US states are expunging (deleting) the criminal records of anyone busted for cannabis in recent decades. There’s also the added benefit of not sending people to jail for cannabis and having them come out of jail heroin addicts!

5. We can embrace the health benefits of cannabis, CBD and hemp

Medical cannabis, along with CBD (cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive hemp product)  is now accepted in most civilised countries as having real benefits for people suffering from epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s. It is also beneficial to people with cancer – for pain relief – and in treating the nausea that accompanies chemotherapy.

Let’s just legalise cannabis across the board, so those who need cannabis for medical and leisure reasons can get it, in a controlled manner. Sidestep big pharma, which hates the idea that people could actually grow their own medicine at home! This broad legalisation approach will also allow for more research into the medical benefits of cannabis, and generate substantial tax revenues.

And removing the stigma that the legal system, industry and media has forced upon this simple plant will also allow hemp (genetically the same plant as cannabis, just bred for different purposes) to achieve its potential in stopping climate change and displacing oil. Think biofuels, hempcrete, hemp plastic and more!

Update: Ireland legalised medical cannabis in 2019.

Bonus reason 6

By legalising cannabis, consumption can move away from burning the plant and smoking it, often with tobacco, and more towards vaping, edibles and beverages.

What next?

What’s your opinion? Take our cannabis legalisation survey.

Contact your local political representative, include a link to this post,ย talk about the benefits, and ask them to get on board the legalisation train.

In Ireland…

contact the Taoiseach, Micheal Martin: micheal@michealmartin.ie

and Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly: Ministersoffice@health.gov.ie / @donnellystephen

and ask them to push for legalisation.

Catherine Byrne has been tasked with reviewing the legal position of cannabis in Ireland. Share your views with her: catherine.byrne@oir.ie / @CByrneTD

In other countries, find out who is responsible for changing the law and contact them.

Further reading

List of countries where it’s okay to smoke a joint (just be discrete!): https://www.thrillist.com/vice/30-places-where-weed-is-legal-cities-and-countries-with-decriminalized-marijuana#

WHO report on the health and social costs of alcohol: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/facts/alcohol/en/

What is methadone? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methadone

Positive policing changes after legalization: https://phys.org/news/2018-07-positive-policing-cannabis-legalization.html

Medical cannabis, where does Ireland stand? https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/medicinal-cannabis-where-does-ireland-stand-1.3490547


This article was updated in April 2021, with Mexico and New York’s moves to legalize.

Updated June 2020, with Israel and UN references.

Updated July 2020 to list Ireland’s new Taoiseach and Health Minister.

Updated September 2020 to change language used to describe opiate/opioid users and to include the benefits of cannabis legalisation for hemp.

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Gary J Byrnes

By Gary J Byrnes

Gary J Byrnes is a bestselling thriller writer by night and a tech marketing guy by day. Extensive international experience in software startups, SMEs and multinationals. Find on LinkedIn. Has researched hemp, climate change for over twenty years. Writer, blogger, parent, animal lover. 2022 is about building a new business model to enable mass planting of hemp through easy carbon offsetting at Hempoffset.com.


  1. Agree with everything except for the using the term โ€œjunkieโ€ for drug addicts. Any serious writer should know better.

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